Let’s All Go To The Lobby!

Drive-In Movie Intermission 50s Retro Vintage 57 Chevy Ink Drawing

For our prompt of “Drive-In Movie” today, I sketched a vintage car at a drive-in as the intermission cartoon comes on. As a kid, I used to love seeing the little cartoons they played during intermission that encouraged you to get more treats in the middle of a film. Though, when you’re a kid, you hardly need that much coaxing when it comes to treats of any kind. I remember going to see the first Star Wars movie back in the 70’s at a drive-in. I was too young to drive myself, so my sister let me crash a date with her and her husband. Being the perfect age for such a film, I was hooked and an immediate fan and soon begin to diligently collect all of the action figures. It’s been decades, however, since I’ve been to a drive-in theater. I always thought it would be fun to go again, but these days the whole affair is a bit past my bedtime so I haven’t returned. Yet, I remember the experience with a full heart of nostalgic fondness.

In truth, I rarely go to even a regular movie theater these days. They closed the wonderful Alamo theater that was downtown, so there’s no longer a theater that really provides an experience worth attending. I also rarely love the new blockbuster films and prefer movies with more thought and story, which breeze their way direct to streaming services now. And, in truth, most of the movies that would lure Philippe out of the house were animated since they typically had only a 90 minute running time. Somewhere along the line theater movies got longer and longer, with no intermission, so going to one becomes quite a commitment and even a matinee viewing can take over the entire day. So, we typically just watch movies at home these days, which our pup Elliott much prefers. Elliott actually enjoys watching them with us, but does prefer movies with other dogs in them.

Elliott also loves it when we have a family popcorn night to watch a movie. And, I can’t blame him. Popcorn is definitely one of my favorite snacks as well and makes even a night at home feel more like a proper theater experience. As I was looking for new movies to watch recently, I kept coming across older movies that I remember really enjoying. In fact, there were far more movies that I had seen before catching my eye than there were new movies that I was anxious to see. Perhaps, it’s simply that so many of those older movies are now part of my own personal history. They’re more than flicks that appeared on the screen. They are stories that I experienced while growing up and becoming the person I am today. Stories that seemed grander when combined with my own emotional worries, fears, and expectations that come with growing older. So, maybe that’s why I’ll always think back fondly to that singular moment in time when halfway through a drive-in movie, little animated characters would pop up on screen and happily invite me to go to the lobby and get a treat.

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Drive-In Movie Intermission 50s Retro Vintage 57 Chevy Ink Drawing Sketchbook Detail

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18 Comments
  1. Sally Fox 2 months ago

    Such a memory flogger. When I saw “Let’s all go to the lobby” I could hear the tune and see the snack bar before I saw the drawing. But I thought you would be much to young to remember drive-ins!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      I was born just after the 60’s, so I remember them well! Glad this brought back good memories! 😃💕

  2. Mary Roff 2 months ago

    Love this Charlie! I had completely forgotten the cartoons during intermission…though as a kid I doubt any of us made it as far as the intermission before falling asleep. Our screen wasn’t nearly as nice as the one you painted but basically just a very large white board; posts with speakers that you attached to the window and a very small walk up concession stand. The amazing thing to me is that it is still in business…after more decades than I even care to think about 😊. I wonder what they do about sound these days?

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 I wondered the same about sound! hehe… it was not awesome back then, and now they work so hard on surround sound, you’d think it would be lost. And I remember falling asleep as well! lol

  3. Sandra Strait 2 months ago

    Ah, the days when you got 2 or 3 cartoons, a newsreel (about news – not advertising) and two movies! Of course, these days, my old bones couldn’t take sitting that long. I was curious – according to Google, there are only 305 to 321 drive-in theatres left in the U.S., with highest count (49) in New York (that surprised me). There are only three left in Oregon. It’s sad. There was something special about sitting in the car with the family, and treats you snuck in. Half the time, the screen quality was poor, the sound even worse, but gosh! it was fun!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Yeah it was soooo much fun! 😃💕 We have a few left around here and I might just drag Philippe to one in the future. But we’ll likely both fall asleep since it’s so late. hehe

  4. Carla Riseman 2 months ago

    Love it! And now I can’t get that song out of my head–and I’m not mad about it! Let’s all go to the lobby…

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Carla! 😃💕 Glad this brought back fun memories!

  5. Gary Middleton 2 months ago

    A red ’57 Bel Air, one of my favourite classic cars. Its been about 40 yrs since I last went to the cinema, Charlie. I went with my brother to see The Song Remains the Same by Led Zeppelin. I love this painting you’ve done.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Gary! 😃💕 Wow… that is a long time since you’ve been! hehe

  6. Marisela Delgado 2 months ago

    Hola, Charlie! My parents never took me to the drive in, but those cartoon snacks remind me of the drive in scene from “Grease.” How sad about Olivia Newton-John. Speaking of movies that were integral to our childhood….. “Grease” brings back so many memories. I agree about the older movies especially the ones tied to a special and/or memorable time in our lives. “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” “Pretty in Pink.” “16 Candles.” “The Breakfast Club.”
    Okay, now I bummed myself out. 😂😂😂 Where has the time gone? 😂😂😂 Oh, they are wonderful to watch and to remember. A great painting my friend.

    We have cooled down and will be 95*F most of the week. Fall has arrived!! 😂😂😂😂😂😂 I know 95*F is sweltering for many, but, for us, it’s a cake walk and “mild” for Summer time in Texas. So, we have cooled down. 😂😂😂

    My days are all mixed up. Have a beautiful week, mi amigo, Charlie.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks, mi amiga! 😃💕 Glad it cooled down there… though yeah… that’s still warm. It’s been in the 80’s here but looks like it’s getting hotter on the weekend. That’s an awesome movie list indeed! I feel like there aren’t as many great movies these days, but maybe I just don’t share the modern tastes. And yes, so said to hear about Olivia Newton John. She was amazing! Have a wonderful week. Hugs to you!

  7. Hema 2 months ago

    Very beautifully depicted Charlie…nostalgia time !!

  8. scrittoralinda 2 months ago

    Hey Charlie, I don’t even remember intermissions! But then I was only a young kid. You pay more attention than I do obviously.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Hehe! The intermission meant more snacks! I could never forget that! lol So fun! 😉💕

  9. Nellie Nellie 2 months ago

    That’s a lot like my mom’s 1st car (the 56 Chevy! ) But it was a 78 Olds Delux Royale we used to stuff (and yes the trunk too) to go to the drive in🤣 I too could also hear the tune and see the dancing snacks! A bucket of popcorn and a bucket sized soda were my guilty pleasure but I never turned down an ice cream bon bon (don’t tell Philippe I used ‘bon bon’ in connection with drive-in food!😆)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      hehe!! Drive-In food was the best! 😃💕 And no worries… Philippe has been known to devour a tub of popcorn, so he’s fine with drive-in food, too! lol

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