The Philadelphia Inquirer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 22, 1999 · Page 47
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The Philadelphia Inquirer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania · Page 47

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Wednesday, September 22, 1999
Page 47
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THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER B C7 Haar's Drive-In remains a beacon W nostalgia in rural neighborhood KeyStates Jeep Dealers presents the... N AT I ON A L r 1 Wednesday, September 22. 1999 DRIVE-IN from CI separate the townhouses and the drive-in, which are part of a rapidly developing community where rolls 'of hay share the same block as mini-storage. J Of course, the pairing of homes "and screen does produce its awk-Avard moments. Like the time that Joellen Sipe, ;31, walked outside to let the dog out, forgetting about the 500 or so patrons parked across the .street. "I'm standing there in jny pajamas and it's like ;.HL " she said. And there's that funny -echo that sometimes -sours the sound coming JTrom 500 little car-mounted speakers especially jwhen the lot has empty Spaces. "It's like those tkung fu movies," said resident Denise Otterbein. IfciThe lips move, then we get the words." f Though the theater almost never plays risque Silms, neighborhood fami-ies occasionally must nake adjustments. For ex-imple, Otterbein's 8-year-Sold son, Ben, was once caught watching the latest James Bond film through his bedroom window. "Now, we do movie control," she said. "The blinds go down. We caught him rearranging the bed, putting the pillow at the other end ;so he could leisurely watch. - But overall, residents voice few complaints. The theater, after all, is something special in Dillsburg. Built in 1953, the drive-in is one of 40 left in Pennsylvania, according to the United Drive-in Theater Owners Association in German-town, Md. It is as much a part of the local scene as the New Years' Eve "pickle drop," Dillsburg's equiva lent of the Times Square ball. (Thousands turn out to see a fire department ladder truck lower a large fake pickle to the ground.) Some moviegoers, like Tom and Wanda Mummert, have been coming to the drive-in since they were children. They arrive early for a front-row spot and set up lawn chairs on the back of their pickup. "We've been together for 15 years and she's probably been drag- - T i ' i , ..... ..,-, . Am aiiilnmiriiiiirai BOB WILLIAMS Inquirer Suburban Staff Elwood Haar, 63, runs the projector. He also hand-peels up to 1 ,000 pounds of potatoes each week to make the fries that some say rival the movies as an attraction. ging me here for 20," he joked. "This place is an institution." The man responsible for all this is Elwood Haar, 63, a lifelong Dillsburg resident who runs the theater and a regular auction, flea market, and furniture store with his brother, George, and his sister, Claribel. For Haar, showmanship seems to run in the blood. Before opening the theater, the family would travel the countryside in a van fitted with speakers, showing movies on a tripod-mounted screen. Vance Haar, the siblings' father, was said to have been enamored of the carnival, and he might have made it a profession had his wife not intervened. Instead, he opened the theater and featured kiddie rides and anything else that might bring families out. Elwood Haar is certainly his father's son. With his ever-present cigar hiding a contagious smile, he recounts the attractions his family has offered over the years, from country music to a motorized train that led patrons into the surrounding countryside. Most of his family works in the business. His wife, Dot, runs the concession stand during the films. Haar himself hand-peels up to 1,000 pounds of potatoes each week to make the fries that some say rival the movies as an attraction. "You've got to love it to do this," he said. His love of the business is evident as he sneaks a glance at the crowd between swapping reels on two massive projectors. "I like to listen and hear the people laugh," he said. "Maybe it's just me, but it really tickles me." The family keeps the grounds as clean as the films, sending a worker to sweep the lot at dawn's light on weekend mornings so the trash won't blow around. It also doesn't hurt that the Haars live in the neighborhood. All three can walk to the theater from home. And, of course, the movies are not a year-round thing. October will arrive. Sometimes sooner, sometimes later, the cold weather and the lure of small-town high school football will rob the theater of patrons. The parking-lot stalls will start to go empty and the Haar family will put the theater in hibernation, giving residents a rest. Drama looks into White House TELEVISION from CI dent Josiah Bartlett smashes him- i self up in a predawn bicycle acci- dent in Wyoming, rousing all his minions early back in D.C. . Meanwhile, raftloads of Cubans are heading for Miami, the Christian right is all aflame after Bar-tlett's deputy chief of staff told some zealot on TV that she worshiped a god who had been indicted for tax fraud, and Sen. Lloyd Rus- t KEVIN FOLEY Martin Sheen is President Josiah Bartlett in "The West Wing," the drama by Aaron Sorkin that debuts on NBC tonight. sell, "newly crowned prince of the rwhite suburban woman, the black pper-class man and the teachers' union," is forming an exploratory 'fcommittee to make a run against ihe president in the next election. . On the personal side, someone (no surprise-spoilers here) is getting into an ill-advised liaison, a bogus clue in the New York Times crossword has rankled McGarry just a little too much, McGarry's daughter's fourth-grade class is demanding a personal tour of the White House, and Russell has hired the ex-girlfriend of the deputy chief of staff, who himself is 6-to-5-and-pick-'em to lose his job. You won't get bored in The West Wing. The ex-girlfriend is played by Moira Kelly, just over from To Have and to Hold, one of those cops-and-lawyers shows that didn't get very far last year. And she's one of only two major female characters in a sea of men, which could explain some of the show's limited emotional appeal. The other is Allison Jan-ney, who plays the press secretary. LA. Law's John Spencer plays the crusty McGarry, the chief of staff. Richard Schiff you've seen him a million times is the communications director. They're marvelous. In the solid-B acting category come Bradley Whitford as the deputy chief of staff, and good old Rob Lowe as the deputy communications director. Martin Sheen, the president, doesn't appear until near the end, doing a very nice set piece (Sor-kin's specialty) against hate and in favor of the wonder of America. There's plenty of room for soap-boxing in The West Wing, and Sorkin takes advantage. But it's not just polemic. There's sympathy, for instance, in the finely shaded difference between the Rev. Al Caldwell, whose character is broadened in a fine scene with McGarry, and the two other Christian rightists. The West Wing is stimulating and important. It must still prove that, unlike politics, it does have a soul. "Make it stop," barks the dog, named Mom, in subtitles, very early into Oh Grow Up, in which a self-confessed "horndog" named Hunter is confronted by the 18-year old daughter he never knew he had. Mom is referring to the loud sex going on upstairs, but she could be commenting on network television's relentless obsession with sex in general and overgrown boys in particular. This one may be the best of the crop of sitcoms in that genre, which is saying almost nothing at all. More to the point would be this advice to TV programmers and the advertising-time buyers who motivate them: t Oh, grow up! Ski & NOWBOARD X P o Fri., Oct. 15 thru Sun.,Oct. 17, 1999 NESHAMINY MALL is0!? E Sponsored by Warren Miller Film Festival - See 50th Anniversary Thriller Tickets $5 Includes a FREE 2 for 1 Lift Pass Coupon for JACK FROSTBIG BOULDER and a Free SUGARBUSH Lift Pass! (some restrictions apply) SUPER SALE EXTRAVAGANZA Over 100 Resort, Equipment & Retail Exhibits Experience the Virtual Reality Ski Pavilion ME GA SKI SWAP sponsored by Eastern PA Ski Council For Info Contact: Zedeck Associates P.O. Box 5138 Springfield, VA 22150-5138 (703) 644-9899 Fax (703) 644-9580 or call (21 5) 295-4240 Visit our Website at nissioi Expo Hours: Fri. 4:00 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Sat. 10:00 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Sun. Ski Movie Hours: FRI. 4pm6pm8pm SAT. 10am12noon2pm4pm6pm8pm PvWhere? Neshaminy K Mall at Exit 28 & T the PA Turnpike 3 I wb ,Vic I -.e3' kfi lau )Vj S3 K2 ids f Pre Adf ;u2 1 1 1 . m . t WIN Grand Wie 2. J . Wpsto'Sklfee i J l x,,. Canadian Rockies" 71 .vjffi emBn' CanadoqT (A In m,Jl corn, Jmj. J) J) 5hXH, 9 IffBB Pi Sponsored by M numi 11:00 u.m.-6:00 p.m. SUN. 12noon2pm4pm ns ail oh o ;W irli Jite -, - t - ..."-f ---: f : .-v- i ,- it 1 Intra iftn "-- - ' FRANK CARROLL "Oh Grow Up" stars Niesha Trout and Stephen Dunham as a father and daughter who are just getting acquainted. 1(3 . . CLOTHING FACTORY WAREHOUSE I f 1 rWJJJ- MEMM Mmmm : ii "i I ; : -f?HnrBi A it lmen V 7 - BUYOUT!!! oMens - Big Mens o Designer If anies O All Mgw Arrivals I S6d ---' .K lvalue! ONio, Holdbacks Bugle Boy 2 6 V-Necks & Henleys - Amazingl w h Team Fleecor Heavy Sweatshirts & SweatpantsL Vi t Jo nr. Hoodod Sweatshirtswovaii 'From THE 1 Sneaker Manufacturer! J Jordacho Sig Mens Jeans! Sizes44 - 54l!l $45 Valuelll VlLh i . cn '-t' J re National Designer f i Li 'C I r m m m m A for Juniors! $25 Value -UNBEATABLE! isses Silk Blouses Long Sleeve Great Colors $20 Value Ladies Plus (n&i Soft Separates vl) I vTd Soft & Slinky -Mix'n Match! 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