A Fun Evening Outing for Aging Parents and You

Drive-In movie at Javelina Stadium parking lot...

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A Drive-in Movie?
You thought they no longer existed, neither did I.
Nor did I know they play 1st-run movies. 

I read yesterday’s Wall Street Journal’s article, Drive-Ins Hang Tough in Digital Age, with curiosity–perhaps craving nostalgia, perhaps hoping to revive long-forgotten thoughts of my youth. Hope fulfilled.

Memories of my first drive-in movie, “From Here to Eternity” were as a young child wearing pajamas, sitting in the back seat of mother’s car with her friend’s child–also in PJ’s–while our mothers watched the movie. We were clueless as to plot, my only memory is of waves washing up on the shore and the fact that it was an adventure–watching a movie from a cozy car, plus we got to stay up late.

As teenagers the drive-in was a popular destination in our small (at the time) desert town but I thought it had gone the way of dinosaurs. Wrong.

Didn’t realize drive-in-theaters still exist until I read yesterday’s WSJ article and clicked http://www.driveins.com/. Update 9/2012: click link, click “open”–as opposed to closed drive-ins, enter state, click town and drive-in’s website for up-to-date information. Further searching finds ratings/comments for some. (I learned, from the comments, that you bring a portable radio to some drive-ins to get the audio.)

As a far-away-living adult child I was always looking for new, fun, easy and interesting things to do with my parents as they aged–to offset the inevitable medically-related expenditures of time.

If they were still alive I’m certain I would search for a drive-in theater with a  first-run movie I knew they’d enjoy. We could sit comfortably in the car–together–and perhaps relive that “good-old-days” feeling for a few hours.

As my parents aged it seemed, (and I’m guessing it’s true for many seniors) that thoughts of their younger days were a pleasurable diversion from current realities. They enjoyed sharing memories with their steadily declining group of contemporaries and loved it when my high school friends came for a visit.

Taking elderly/aging parents to a drive-in movie, or–as mentioned in past posts–revisiting places they formally lived or loved going to, or clicking http://www.vpike.com/ to see their old “haunts” and their old neighborhood as they are today should bring pleasure to many.

While new opportunities to bring pleasure are sometimes elusive, don’t you think they contribute to helping parents age well?

A smattering of drive-in sites: http://valleydriveins.com/
http://www.vintagedrivein.com/  http://sunsetdriveinaurora.com/