[DRIVE-IN MOVIE MEMORIES screens Saturday March 24th at 11:30 am and Sunday March 25th at 6:40 pm at Tower City Cinemas as part of the Cleveland International Film Festival.]
Review by Bob Ignizio
The death knell of the drive-in theater has been sounded many times, and yet it refuses to comply. And why should that be such a surprise? After all, what could be more American than watching a movie in the comfort of your car, one of the last places in this country where you have the freedom to do pretty much whatever you want, while that most American of artforms, the movies, play out on a ridiculously gigantic screen before your very eyes? Still, the drive-in experience of today isn't quite the same as it used to be. Whether you experienced the golden age of open air cinema personally or just want to know what the big deal was, DRIVE-IN MOVIE MEMORIES offers a pleasingly nostalgic glimpse back in time.
There's nothing fancy here; just your standard parade of film clips and talking heads recounting the history of the drive-in from its beginnings (which at least in spirit go as far back an outdoor cinema in 1906 Honolulu) to the present. Along the way we get both personal reminiscences and interesting, sometimes surprising, facts about the evolution of the business. At just short of an hour it feels more like a program designed to fit in a television time slot on PBS or The History Channel than a feature documentary, but unless you're a hardcore drive-in devotee there should be more than enough here to satisfy your curiosity. 3 out of 4 stars.