Still more lazy thoughts from this one…

TMT: a Theatre… a Movie… and a Time

If someone told me the day after I graduated high school I’d be writing something about anything related to film, or books, or even family years in the future, I’d have laughed that so-called prophet off the planet. The last thing on my mind that Saturday was writing. In fact, composing an essay, let alone a term paper, was my most hated activity all the way through to the end of the twelfth grade. Why couldn’t everything just come down to short-answer, or better, true or false remedies? I reckoned life would surely suck less under those conditions. Shows how much I know. How does that old Yiddish proverb go?

“Man plans, God laughs.”

Well, if anything, whatever I write (however out of nowhere) becomes an archive of sorts. So, given that, I thought I’d note from time-to-time a set of three particulars that form many of my favorite memories. Full disclosure, I credit my good friend and blogger over at Colonel Mortimer Will Have His Revenge for the inspiration. Reading his look back at the films and theaters in his life triggered all of this — hey, original I’m not. And since I’m getting older every day, I better start to get these written down fast before they become just dust in the wind.

Since I wrote about it last year on my old blog, I’ll start this off with something familiar.


The Rosecrans Drive-in (alternate drive-in site):



June 17, 1972: I can call this to mind because it remains one of those kind of memories. So ingrained to be part of your being. So unexpected, too. It was the day after I graduated from South Gate High School. A cauldron of experiences, both good and bad, and finally out. Having spent the entire previous night awake (struggling at times) at what is famously known as Grad Night, I woke up late that afternoon and had to scramble to make my movie date (with the same girl I took to that all-night party at Disneyland).

Calling her ahead to make she was now as awake as I. She equally excited to go to the movies once more. We’d sit in my old 1963 Ford Falcon station wagon and actually watched the movie. And that’s saying something for the film since I was a supremely hormonal 17 at the time. While I choose the Rosecrans Drive-in as the venue because it was cheap, and I had a girlfriend at the time, I picked the movie because I heard how great  it was from my movie-going family members.

The night I took in this wonderful 1972 film adaptation of the Mario Puzo novel, The Godfather, by Francis Ford Coppola easily remains one of my strongest memories to this day.

The entire series can be found here. If you’re interested how it’s put together, click here.

42 Responses to “TMT: a Theatre… a Movie… and a Time”

  1. Rachel

    Reason #1,600,431 that Unknowable Futures rock – Michael now writes things we all get to read.


  2. The Sci-Fi Fanatic

    My friend

    The sheer presentation of Drive-ins is enough to make me nostalgic for those by gone days.

    I’m waxing nostalgic here with you my friend, but I remember my father taking me to our local drive-in and seeing Warlords Of Atlantis. It was such a great thrill.

    It was an equally great thrill spreading the blankets on top of the station wagon, fending off mosquitoes, and eating food under the stars.

    Honestly, is there a better feeling than something like that from your childhood?

    Few kids today will ever experience something like that. I miss it all.
    Cheers L13


    • le0pard13

      The drive-in as a venue, in their time, filled up so many memories. And the summer season went time and tide with it, did it not? There are still a few left, and I’ve promised to take my kids for them to experience it some. I’m with you on this all, SFF. Many thanks.


  3. Rachel

    Did I ever tell you about the sand/gravel supply company that was right next to the drive-in where I went to high school? We got up to some pretty ridiculous stunts between the double features.


  4. Kevin (Col. Mortimer)

    Awesome post, as you know I have a soft spot for the whole experience of seeing films. I used to go to the Drive-ins frequently with my Dad after my parents divorced, I remember seeing such titles as Raiders of the Lost Ark, Howard the Duck (heh), and Darkman at the Capitol 6 in San Jose, which is miraculously still in operation.

    Just curious if you remember, how did The Godfather look at the Drive-in? From my experience and maybe it was due to bad bulbs, darker films usually looked murky at the Drive-in.


    • le0pard13

      I really appreciate the way you write about those experiences, my friend. And since many of the old venues continue to disappear, sometimes it is those old memories are the only things left.

      And yes, the drive-in did have an affect upon how it looked for those in the cars. But, it did force you to focus on the dark scenes, specifically, and the film overall. Thanks for your comment and the inspiration, Kevin.



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