By Ken In Texas:
It is spring break, the time when people turn their attention to the beach, parties and relaxation. Me?
I headed off on a grand adventure to north Texas' newest drive in movie theater. Yes, you read that
correctly a new drive in movie theater just opened south of Dallas in the little town on Garrett, Texas.
Drive in theaters in the United States and Texas were a dying breed. Once numbering in the thousands,
today on a few hundred remain. The fact that someone would try to open a new one is a bit amazing.
Land prices and the advent of the VCR and cable TV led to the closing of most drive in theaters.
Today, around sixteen remain in the state of Texas with the Galaxy being the newest.
The Galaxy has three screens rising from the Texas soil showing first run double features on each screen.
The pricing was very reasonable and the people friendly. In fact, it was perfect at recapturing a little nostalgia
and home town feel that is so sorely lacking in the days of 40 screen monsterplexes and mall theaters.
When you first reach the Galaxy you notice the towering screens and marquee which light up the night sky
and beckon you to join in on the fun. Next you notice the cars. I arrived before the gate opened to snap photos,
and several cars were already waiting in line. It would appear that the drive in movie theater concept has not
lost its appeal at all. All three screens had full lots on this early March night when the temperature was still brisk.
The Galaxy is still using car speakers which really make a difference. There is something magical about hearing
tunes being piped into a large field of speakers. What really caught my ear was that the Wolfman Jack Show
was on the air. Could it get any better? For those who would rather listen through their car radio that is an option
as well, so the choice is up to you. We chose to do it the old fashioned way and hung the speaker on the truck.
A trip quick to the snack bar was like stepping into a time machine. Two serving lines quickly served customers
all the traditional drive in fare including burgers, hot dogs, pizza, and popcorn. For those who are on a health
kick they have fresh salads. The prices were so reasonable the Galaxy kept the snack bar flowing all night
serving one happy customer after another. A few classic video games like Ms Pac-Man and Galaga
entertained those with a little time to kill while waiting for the film to start.
When the dusk turned to night, and the projector flickered to life, customers were treated to a short film about
the economics and history of drive in theaters. This was an excellent short that I have never seen before.
Next, the theater showed a few trailers for upcoming movies and then it was on with the show. One of the
highlights of the evening was getting to watch the classic intermission films between the two features.
There it was in all its glory a cute little animated film encouraging you to head on over to the snack bar.
Anyone else remember the dancing hotdogs and countdown clocks?
Did we have fun? Yes, we did. In fact, where else can you take a three year old to the movie theater?
The whole family had an absolute blast. Oh, I almost forgot the movie was pretty good too. I think it had
Tommy Lee Jones in it.