This morning we decided to have a little family time together and go for a drive with the new camera. We had no real destination and just took off driving, looking for interesting things along the way.
One of the neat things about North Carolina, that is so incredibly different than the area of Pennsylvania where I grew up, are the dilapidated farm shacks along the country roads. There is something so sad and historic about them. It makes me want to go into the restoration business and fix up every one!
As we were passing some of these barns, there was an interesting sign that caught my eye. We pulled over to get a closer look. It said "Cairo" in art-deco letters and appeared to be a movie theater marquee. Since it was sitting beside an abandoned old store, we didn't think too much about it. You know, people leave odd things behind. We poked around a little more.
Then I saw a something around back that looked like a billboard. My husband realized that it was a little bigger than a billboard. It was a drive-in theater screen! Of course - this place used to be a drive-in movie theater!
As it turns out, this was the Cairo Drive-In Movie Theater of Fuquay-Varina, NC. It was open for several years in the 1970's and could hold about 250 cars.
How bizarre it was to discover a drive-in on a random Sunday drive in January. It just brings to mind the amazing history of every crumbling barn that we pass on old country roads. It's too bad they all don't have a little sign to commemorate their interesting past.
I was reading a fascinating article in the January issue of National Geographic about abandoned buildings in the Midwest (see The Emptied Prairie - awesome!). Schoolhouses with books, desks and even faded lessons still scrawled on chalkboards. Homes with doilies still placed neatly on dusty, cracked furniture. Rusty cars found swallowed by wild grasses. It's so fascinating to think of the story behind, or literally, inside the building.
I wish we could have found out more on the Cairo Drive-In theater. But, I imagine it's just about the same to these stories. Check out this great clip (only 3 minutes!) we found on old drive-in theaters. My husband, who is a few years older than I am, remembers more about the drive-ins. How they would see a double feature... The first show was for the kids, the second movie for the adults. He and his brothers would be ordered to go to sleep before the second half. I only have vague memories of falling asleep in the backseat with the aroma of popcorn in the air and flickering lights all around.
When we lived in California, my husband and I went to see a move at the drive-in theater in Oakland. I liked walking to the concessions stand on a warm summer evening and being outside with all the other movie-goers. It was nice to be able to take off my shoes and get comfy in the car. It was fun, even if they got the reels mixed up and we watched the end of the movie before the middle! Oh well - the hazards of the drive-in I suppose!
I've posted more photos of our little adventure on Sunniviews. Anyone else with fond memories of the drive-ins?