Mr. Brooks

June 24, 2007

Last night we headed to the drive-in. It was my first time watching a drive-in movie. Ever. We brought Diego, who was already sleepy, and he slept through almost all of the first movie, “Mr. Brooks.” Walla Walla is located just a few miles north of the Oregon border. The drive-in theater is in Oregon, on a stretch of highway heading into a city called Milton-Freewater. The drive-in is obviously dated: nothing frilly or glamorous about it. But there was something very cozy about sitting in our car, watching the sun fade and the stars come in, as the movie began. We took advantage of our moon roof and had it open the whole time. There was a calming wind blowing outside that kept shifting the clouds and surprised us with a cool breeze in the warm car.

This being our first drive-in experience as a family, we realized we should have probably cleaned the windshield before heading out. We were out of windshield wiper fluid so we just had to bear it. The movie was fine — not great, and not awful. It started just at dusk, and the movie wasn’t perfectly visible at first but got sharper as the sun faded more. The real draw of the night was just the experience of being there. The entire night cost us just under $15: $10 for the car, and $4.25 for a big soda and popcorn.

Diego began shifting in his car seat, and once he opened his eyes he couldn’t get back to sleep. It probably didn’t help that he had a direct view of the film. When he started whimpering I got him out of the seat and held him in my lap. I got him to watch the stars and moon through the moon roof rather than focus on the violence of the film’s ending. He did really well, until we had to decide whether to stay for the second movie, “28 Weeks Later,” or head home. I thought we should have stayed for a bit of the second movie, until the baby got tired again. But we decided to head back. Diego didn’t want to get back in his car seat, but it was only a few minutes before he was asleep again.

I’m looking forward to going back to the drive-in when Carlos’ daughter, Itzul, comes up in August. We’ll have to come up with another way to keep Diego calm during the movie.

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2 Responses to “Mr. Brooks”

  1. cathie said

    I haven’t been to a drive in in years, I wish there were more around still. In College was the last time I went to one for Scream. And it was pouring rain, we had to keep running the defroster to see. When I was a kid my brother took me, my sister and nieces and I was the only kid to stay up for booth films.

  2. BONGO MIRROR said

    I really miss our drive in theatre. Unfortunately, an oil refinery near it exploded (yeah weird that) and made a mess of it. It was wonderful for going with small children: they could sleep peacefully while we watched a show. If they woke up and made noise, we didn’t have to feel like we were disturbing anyone else because we weren’t. It was reasonably priced and it felt like a bit of a community — teenagers were hopping from car to car and socializing nicely.

    I remember going when I was a teenager. They weren’t really good for watching movies then since the sound was delivered through a poor quality speaker. The one that was destroyed used radio so the sound was from our car speakers.

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