Help a complete moron create the greatest drive-in theater night off all times!
July 26, 2010 3:18 PM   Subscribe

Help a complete moron create the greatest drive-in theater night off all times!

I have a plan!
A glorious plan.

I want to throw the greatest vintage drive-in night the world has ever seen (post 1979)

Looking through some old photos/clippings, I was reminded of some of the amazing drive in triple bills I saw as a lad in the 1970s and that's when I decided to look into doing a little exploring.
To see what it would take to get the rights and prints to some classic films and see if our drive in here in town would agree to play them in a one night blaze of glory some time next summer.

I have designed an initial bill that I think would cover the widest vector of rareness (on a drive in screen) to nostalgia to awesomeness:

• Star Wars
• Caddyshack
• Dawn of the Dead

in that order.

Obvs I would need to contact distributors to get the prints, and the drive in here in town to see if they would be open to this idea. The drive in is a 6 screener that is in the news for being "close to closing down forever" like all the time, so often that I would hope they'd be amenable to the idea.

Things I have in my favor:

• Working drive in with multiple screens in my city
• A town that really comes out for special cult screenings and midnight flicks.
• At least 12 months to get my head out of my ass

Things that are working against me:

• Potentially everything else

So I'm bringing this idea to AskMefi in its Acorn Stage so that you guys can tell me if I'm floating stupidly on a beautiful, expensive, unworkable pipe dream...OR if there is something to this plan.

Note: I can rejigger the film program if necessary (Star Wars cant be cheap) and I am also very open to the idea of a much smaller scale "Bicycle Drive In" like I have heard they have in Austin.

Thank you for your time, and please be gentle with my dream
posted by Senor Cardgage to Society & Culture (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: And of course "off" should be "of"

posted by Senor Cardgage at 3:19 PM on July 26, 2010

Start contacting distributors now. Those prints will not be cheap nor easy to come by.

I hope it works out for you, and I would love to come. (Don't think I'm near you, tho)
posted by lumpenprole at 3:30 PM on July 26, 2010

Prints may indeed by difficult to come by. I don't know, but I guess drive-ins have some pretty specialized projection, so you probably won't just be able to rent a digital project and project off Blu-Ray. And of course there's all the legal and insurance stuff to deal with.

So this is not going to be easy. But if you ever lose heart, I advise you to load up this Life magazine image from 1958. If you build it, they will come, and it will be awesome. Good luck!
posted by caek at 3:38 PM on July 26, 2010 [2 favorites]

Promote, promote, promote.
posted by knowles at 3:40 PM on July 26, 2010

I present to you vintage drive-in movie bumps and intros from link.

We have a fairly successful drive-in here locally. One of the best things they ever did was start using social media. When they post what movies are coming up for the weekend ahead on Facebook, I'm reminded that drive-ins are awesome and I should go.

My husband and I are investigating the idea of doing private drive-in parties. A little research found me this place, which does small-scale movie licensing: Swank Motion Pictures.

Caek, that image must hang on my wall. That is awesome.
posted by bristolcat at 4:33 PM on July 26, 2010

Start by contacting the drive-in, rather than the distributors. The drive-in, after all, will already have contacts with distributors.
posted by jacquilynne at 4:37 PM on July 26, 2010

Perhaps the drive-in needs a Promotions Manager. Help them with publicity and maybe they'll give you free rein to book a few vintage nights.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 4:58 PM on July 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

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