Wednesday, May 12, 2010


So ...Amanda came down with chicken pox last week...we think that she caught them during C2E2 in Chicago...meeting all those people and her being exausted from Powergirl was a bad combination all around. Anyway, after a week and a half of cabin fever, we thought going to see a movie at the drive in would be a  fun blast from the past that we never shared together and at the same time,  keep her from infecting a theatre full of people. We figured we would catch a 9:30 show of "DATE NIGHT" so we left a little earlier and grabbed some drive thru food. Yeah...we were living in the car last night was the responsible thing to do.

Once we got into tampa, we stopped at a KRYSTALS burger joint...for those who don't know, its a sothern bastard child version of WHITE CASTLE in the tri state area. Their specialty: a small square, steamed burger on a tiny bun with a pickel and such. In New York, we call these murder burgers...and I call them nature's broom...either way, the next day after eating them, they will do just about anything to exit your body. And yes, they are so tasty, you actually put up with that.

So , fully loaded with burgers and drinks, we headed to the FUNLAN drive-in, a place we didnt really know existed till a while ago sporting a name that amanda thinks might have been FUNLAND at one time, but they got sued and dropped the "D" .  As we guessed, it looked exactly like it probably did in the 50's...minus the smooth pavement and fresh paint. As we drove up to the "guard booth" we noticed the road had seen better days...but didnt care...this, to us, was exciting as hell. The price of admission was only 6 bucks a head...reasonable to say the least.

We found our spot in the multi screened arena and hung out till the movie started and plowed through the Krystal's delicacies. When we were looking around, we also notice is that there are no longer any hanging metal speaker phone type of things . My childhood memories of drive-in's are filled with these wire extended boxes...hanging into the car through the window,  creating a wonderful shitty ,tinny sound that ...well...sounds like an echo from the past.  Used to be, you walk out of your car and you would hear a valley of sound coming from each having 400 people listening to the same crappy a.m. radio station at the same time.  What they do now is just have a radio station that the theatre owns and in your car,  they pump out the sound. The better the sound system, the better the sound track.

Needless to say, we live on comic book people salary and we have a used vibe from 2008 that has one of the worst sound systems ever found in an automobile. The first half hour was us trying to get the sound clear and it really never worked out totally. Watching the movie on the big outdoor screen and having shity sound are not the best of conditions. Even still...we had a great time. At one point I got up and went to the consession stand which , as well, a flash back to my childhood...they even had a pinball machine inside. Amazing. The kid behind the counter looked like a good old american Howdy Doody kind of guy and I got a large popcorn and a big bottl of water for 8 bucks total. Not too shabby. As I was leaving the consession, some trailer trashy chick in her 20's came in wearing just about nothing and thigh high boots and asked the guy behind the counter if he liked what he was "seeing" I figured that was my cue to move on back to the car.

The movie itself was silly fun...what we could hear of it...but that wasnt the point of the night. the idea was that we got to visit one of the last drive in movie theatres around and we got to get out without causing an outbreak...and best of all, spend some quality time together, something , after all these years, we can never get enough of. was a fun time...and we ended the night by parking near the airport runway and watching the planes land a few hundred feet away. Amanda just loves doing that since she has a huge facination for airplanes. I am always happy to comply.

Yeah...a perfect date night.


  1. Oh, Jimmy. We need to bring you and Amanda out here to Kansas. The Starlite in Wichita is exactly what you remember... and you can get FM simulcast OR your beloved speaker boxes! And a couple of months out of the year... $10 carloads!

    Check 'em out at

  2. Jimmy, this was one of your best posts yet. Makes me all nostalgic for drive-ins myself!

  3. Great post Jimmy! If you're ever near Atlanta on Labor Day weekend, you gotta hit Drive Invasion at the Starlight 6. A full day of rockabilly, rat rods and classic movies 'til dawn.

  4. What a great date night. Amanda has my sympathies. I caught chicken pox when I was 28 and found out why it's called a childhood disease. It's murder on you if you're an adult. Worse headache I ever had. Nothing touched it. Hope you're over it now Amanda.

  5. White Castle, the greatest idea till a little while after you eat them. I moved to an area completely devoid of White Castle. Which is both good and bad at the same time.

  6. Awesome post. Sounds like a perfect night. Hope Amanda is feeling better.

  7. My wife and I just did something similar last night. The Valle drive-in in Newton Iowa still has the little speakers.