I don’t know about you, but when ever I think of drive-in movies, I think about making out. Not actually ME making out, just everyone else making out in their cars. That’s what I always see in movies….but it turns out, that’s not really what happens (at least not when I was there). There are way too many kids and you’re parked way too close to other people. Unless you’re into that sort of thing.
One of the reasons it’s taken me so long to get to a drive-in is that there aren’t many left. There’s only one in this area and it’s in Newberg, about 40 minutes outside of Portland. It’s called the 99W drive-in. We drove all the way out there on Saturday night, only to find a long line of cars on the highway and the show sold out! But we did not give up, and came back on Sunday instead.
It’s really pretty affordable. $8 per person for a double feature. This weekend they were showing Monster University and The Lone Ranger. But since it was a Sunday night and we had to work the next day, we only stayed for Monsters University. There’s an added bonus of sitting in your own car, you can bring your own food! So instead of spending big money on concessions, we just brought a subway sandwich. Although if you really want to support the theater, you should buy concessions, it’s their primary way of making money. Evidently all of the box office tickets go right back to Hollywood.
The place was packed with families. Many of them with an SUV or a truck full of kids. They back the car in, then watch the movie from back. We we drove around a bit and eventually found a spot in the front row. After parking we headed over to check out the snack bar, which was full of vintage movie posters, and had a fun old fashioned vibe. The 99W theater is in it’s 60th season, so they have a lot of history to show off. After that we sat in out car, playing cell phone games and listening to the drive-in radio station until the movie started. During the movie the radio is how you hear the show, but before they do announcements and play music. I was loving their selection, the music from Disneyland!
At about 9:45 it was dark enough for the show to start. They played a bunch of cool, old reels about drive-in rules, then the national anthem and finally movie trailers. We kept the windows open through the entire movie so we could feel the breeze and hear the kids in the car next door laughing. There was no making out, but I can see why you might feel inspired to… it was really quite romantic.