Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Saying Goodbye To An Old Redneck Friend

Last weekend, I said goodbye to an old friend. We had been together since my childhood, through good times and bad. Now, evil land developers have determined that we part ways. . .

I am speaking of my old redneck friend, the Cinderella Twin Drive-In. . .

My parents were not, shall we say, wealthy, and this became a major source of family entertainment. Many a Saturday night we would roll in, crunching through the lot in our '77 VW Rabbit, pull in and stick the clunky crappy speakers on our window. As a child, I saw "Superman 2" here, "The Aristocats" (which I still mistakenly refer to "The Aristocrats" as,) "Return of the Jedi", and countless 'Trek flicks.

Nothing gorgeous about this place, but it's been a comfy local landmark since the late '60s, and has survived as one of the last drive-ins in Colorado. Perhaps redneck is not the proper term for it, not just white trash either as it caters to all ages and ethnicity, but it has a distinctive run-down blue-collar feel to the place. A place where the adults drink Pabst Blue Ribbon, and the children eat Fiddle Faddle and Cow Tales.

In my childhood, they had some of the rustiest, most dangerous playground equipment know to man right in front of the screens for the kids. If you got hurt,(which I did on several occasions)there was no rush to the emergency room, no litigation, no first aid. Your folks would just wrap a sock or some such around the wound, and you would have to grit it out until the end of the double feature.

The playgrounds were long gone by my late teens, when my friends and I could borrow the family car, (still the Rabbit) so we would head there, perhaps with a couple of friends stashed in the trunk. Usually, we met up with others our age and formed large teen mobs, no doubt a source of irritation for the other patrons.

I made out with my first serious girlfriend there ("Moon over Parador", I think though I remember it not.) After our inevitable 2nd breakup, I watched "Say Anything" there with my consoling pals, and it seemed to help cauterize the wounds.

Then, as an adult I became involved in the endless singles scene, and never went back until I got married. We originally went as a nostalgic lark, however we had such a good time watching trashy movies and yelling at the screen in the privacy of our own car that we made the journey at least a couple of times a summer.

Sometimes we'd bring out camping chairs and sleeping bags, and watch under the beauty of the stars. And it is the only movie theatre in Colorado that you can take a $20 to the concession stand, buy a full load of junk food for two people, and still come back with change.

Then, late this summer, it was announced that the City of Sheridan, the crappy, should-have-been-annexed-ages-ago suburb that the Cinderella resides in, had decided to cancel their lease and rezone it. For high-end condos. In this market, where 1 out of every 7.5 homes in this country is vacant. And absolutely guaranteed to get worse. Insane. You should see the rest of this particular 'burb, godawful doesn't even begin to do it justice. Better they scrape the rest and leave just the drive-in. Any locals want to bear witness to my testimony on it?

Hearing this was the last chance to go, I packed up my sick wife in her two-piece jammies and a big comforter and headed to see the old girl out in style. We weren't alone, the place was packed. We got a triple feature of trashiness. "Underdog," "SuperBad" and "Balls of Fury." I was Mclovin "Superbad", but I was a teenage nerd boy once, so I could readily identify.

And so an era ends for Colorado and myself. Not the blaze of glory I would have liked, but a memorable end. My wife rallied for most of the outing, then happily snoozed away the end and the ride home. I personally would have preferred a triple feature of the Indy movies or some such, but I will always remember all the great times I had here.

So. . .goodbye Cinderella Twin, I will miss you. Thank you for all the great times you've given me, at a reasonable price.

And Sheridan, I know you are perhaps trying to modernize your ugly burb, but I hope you eat it hard with this deal. Perhaps it will bring down your glorified HOA regime.



Joanne said...

Aww, that's really cool...I've never been to a drive-in. My favorite choice of movies reasonably priced is this small 1-movie theater called The Lyric in our university's "downtown"! The popcorn, soda, and candy is a lot cheaper, too, in comparison! And I don't know, I like the community...the type of people who chose to go to a smaller theater are pretty cool, hahah. ;)

meleah rebeccah said...

OOH, thats soo cool. I have never been to a drive in.

I am sad that it is closing too. Its like a little piece your history is being removed. You have such wonderful memories surrounding that place.

Great post.

the domestic minx said...

Oh I used to LOVE going to the drive-in. So many memories of some truly baaad movies, made better by the fact that some serious making out could be done, in any one of the seats, while it was playing....
Yes, these colour-by-number condos are quick to replace anything that's not making money...although it sounds as if they'll fare little better...

Loved this post, SA.
I am a nostalgic creature..

Random Magus said...

It makes me sad how the past has to make way for the future, leaving us behind with only our happy memories. But that's life I guess.

Anonymous said...

Good story. I'm so glad I was able to go this last summer before it closed. I learned an important lesson that night...always wash your windshield before you go.

Jackie said...

God, how i loved those spin-a-whirl things! I'm sad that my kids will never get to experience them but at the same time I also wonder how our parents could, in good conscience, let us go on them!

Our last drive-in was torn down a few years ago and replaces with a Walmart. Grrr.

Jackie said...

*replaced, doh.

Amy said...

so sad. you know, my DH was watching that Cribs show the other day and one of the singers of 'NSync actually has his very own drive-in theatre in his backyard. That's pretty cool but it won't come with all the childhood memories though.

p.s. I'll send you that tamale recipe if you send me your email. Mine is the_nielsens2000@earthlink.net
i hope you guys dig them like i do. i just ate them for dinner and i'm about to go back and eat my husband's share before he comes home and realizes i actually made a good dinner for once.

moooooog35 said...

Back when I was a kid in New England, we had a ton of drive-ins. I remember seeing "The Incredible Melting Man" most notably (which consisted of a guy running around wearing a suit covered in red pudding.)

When I reached 16 years old, though, I found out that three towns over was a drive-in that only showed adult movies. This became the movie theater of choice for myself and my girlfriend...although, after 5 minutes into the first feature I was done and ready to go home.

..needless to say this was a place where you NEVER ordered food from the snack bar and you never, ever, went to the men's room...no matter how bad you had to pee.

..good times...good times...