It’s no secret that I have a penchant for by-gone eras, and the 50s are no exception. Apart from the threat of nuclear war hanging over people’s heads and some of the blatant gender inequalities we’ve come so far from, they seemed like a pretty cool time. Just watch Grease and you’ll get it: car racing, dancing that featured actual dancing (instead of gyrating and grinding), big skirts and milkshakes. Everything seemed so safe, happy and carefree.
So when Husband heard that Event Cinemas Blacktown was re-opening the Drive-In, he knew it would make a thrilling date night for yours truly. Not only was it a concept that was foreign to my generation but something we’d heard loads about from our parents, but also because it would allow me to do what I do best: daydream about what the experience would have been like back in the day.
True to form, I spent the entire day before we went fantasising about what it’d be like. I’d read that they’d recreated a 50s diner – complete with checkerboard flooring and neon colours, and menus that featured cheeseburgers, milkshakes and fries. Even the staff wore red and white striped uniforms.
I pictured staff on roller skates (my fault, the article said nothing of the sort), milkshakes in proper glasses, and plates of burgers and fries which I’d then pump with ketchup. Unfortunately, while the venue itself looked the part, the whole diner experience (that I was dreaming out) fell a little short. Turns out, you shouldn’t believe all that you see in the movies. There were no milkshake glasses and I had to pay 50c extra for this little packet of sauce, but it took a while before I got it: the ‘experience’ was optimised for the movie-goer, so everything was designed to be eaten from your car as you watched the flick. Burgers were pre-packed into boxes ready for ordering, and drinks were served in plastic/paper cups. Just like you would get at an ordinary movie screening.
By the time we headed back into the car and saw the screen come to life, I had regained my excitement. Regardless of my whimsical-driven ideas, there was something about watching a modern movie in an old-school way that really made it an experience worth having.