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My Life Under The Stars

 

The following post was submitted by Kellie Curtains, Your Queen of Halloween. You can find her on Facebook here.

   Some of my earliest and fondest memories took place at our local drive-in theatre. It was the perfect place for my parents to get out for the evening with six kids to juggle. Mom and dad would pack a cooler and we’d be off for a night of fun and flicks under the stars. I can still smell the Pic mosquito coil and hot buttered popcorn and hear the tinny echoes of seventies music playing from every speaker before the show. Mom loved it when the latest Burt Reynolds movie played, he was the big Hollywood hunk at the time. My father preferred horror films and we never missed a horror double feature. That’s when I fell in love with horror and when at the age of five, I fell in love with Vincent Price. I first saw him in The Abominable Dr. Phibes and it left quite an impression on me. Especially when he crushed that Doctor's head in the frog mask. I guess you could say that Vincent Price was my first crush.  I remember sitting on my dad’s lap, peeking up from behind the dashboard of our big old Buick, not wanting to look, but I couldn’t stop watching. It was terrifying and thrilling all at once, I was hooked.

   A lot of things changed through the years, but my love of drive-ins and horror movies never ceased.  I was lucky enough to see most of the great horror films of the seventies and eighties at the drive-in. Everything from The Exorcist, The Omen, The Shining, Halloween and A Nightmare on Elm Street to fun horror like Motel Hell, Tourist Trap and Beetlejuice. Then there were the occasional Cheech and Chong movies with a carload of friends and a dime bag of weed; everybody did it back then. My local drive-in shut down in 1992 and I’m still not over it. There were others close enough to enjoy, but no place like the Ottawa Drive-in theater.

    I still go to the drive-in when my 87-year-old mom wants to get out for a night of fun or for the occasional horror film. They don't make them like they used to, but I still get that same feeling just being there under the stars, and I like to think that dad’s watching with me. A few of the drive-ins have retro movie nights and classic car nights if you’re feeling nostalgic. Most of them hold a Halloween trunk or treat night in October. Children trick or treat from rows of spooky decorated cars, then they play retro horror films, some all night long. One year I even took home first prize for the scariest car!

   Over the years I have been to over a dozen drive-in theaters and driven as far as six hours to get to one. I love drive-ins so much that I finally purchased my own, it’s in my back yard. I call it the Ottawa Star drive-in Theatre. So, if you’re lucky enough to have a drive-in theater near you, go, and experience a real nostalgic part of pop culture. and make your own cool memories. Thank you, dad and mom.


If you would like to submit a story about how pop culture has impacted your life, email me at submissions@butteredpopculture.com .

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