South Florida Sun Sentinel from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on June 17, 1983 · Page 55
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South Florida Sun Sentinel from Fort Lauderdale, Florida · Page 55

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Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Issue Date:
Friday, June 17, 1983
Page:
Page 55
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Sun-Sentinel n Friday, June 17, 1983 Fifty years of Young couples still are unable to tell their parents what movie they saw. And cars still enter with a teen-ager in the trunk and leave with a 'hot' speaker. Ron Sympson n - n n R f n 7n k ? LJi J 'i'.. 7 i! -r.:7 ii ii m mi ' IbhJ IwJI tmJ "'i,,.-' 7 They wait until dark By Bill DiPaolo Staff Writer bout two hours before show time, the sun is just beginning to droop behind the melaleuca trees surrounding the Lakeshore Drive-In and the mosquitos are making their first run. The projectionist, cook and ticket-taker are busy, hustling to beat the deadline of darkness. Watermelon rinds, plastic straws, dirty combs and candy wrappers are scattered on the ground from previous movie-goers. Tall, green grass has forced its way through the pavement around the speaker stands. From the battered speakers on the waist-high poles comes the whiny voice of Willie Nelson, his song about Blue Skies drifting across the four parking lots. But Tye iMeyer, a dark-haired 32-year-old Army veteran who collects tickets, knows the quiet won't last long. With movies such as I Spit, on Your Grave, Gates of Hell, Octopussy, Beastmastcr and Breathless playing, she knows there will be a varied crowd at the Margate drive-in. "You'll see all the teeny-boppers hit the horror movies," she says, preparing a different color roll of tickets for each of the four screens. "And you can always tell the macho-type guys. They come in here, roll down their windows and say, real toughlikc, 'Two for Gates of Hell.' And their girlfriend will just cringe, because she really wants to see Octopussy. But she wants to get close to him, so she goes." The first car drives up to the ticket window, and Ms. Meyer has to go to work. Three for Octopussy, one of the three teenagers inside says, handing over 17.50. 1 "Usually since I'm the smallest, I hide in the trunk," says 17-year-old Drew Abbott later. "But I just didn't feel like it tonight." "Yeah, we don't have to worry about that stuff now," pipes up 16-year-old John Winnick from the back seat. "Now that school's over, we all got jobs." The ol'. hiriing-in-the-trunk trick. Manager Lance Corby, a 10-year drive-in veteran, winks one of his blue eyes and says he knows the ruse still goes on. And no, he says for probably the thousandth time, nobody ever has been locked into the trunk. "Sometimes I'll see 'em, and if it's a slow night I'll let it go. And I find people who have walked in and are sitting next to a speaker. I just ask them to pay or leave. The last thing I wanna do is make a scene. "And people still like to, steal '""'mtest. :n m " u i i u a - .. . tl WHICH MOVIE 1 3V,. hi TO SEE . 2 ' X it, ' 't "n ii i iffi wY-r f i$ rtntf TtfjWm mil i Vm fart 1 irfwiiiiMMiiftirti liornriiimnr'nii -nfli tut wmimn hMm Mrriii fofli M imr irt mi0 Mall photus hv MIL WILLIS t Sift ti IZ" fit" . Ii? y. Ticket-taker Nola Schroder ushers in the movie-goers at the Lakeshore Drive-In in Margate, top; above, manager Lance Corby behind the snack bar. After 10 years of drive-in work, he says he still doesn't know why people steal the speakers. "They are terrible for music." the speakers. I don't know why; they are terrible for music," Corby says, watching the line pick up at the ticket booth. Ms. Meyer, who works with Please see DRIVE-INS, 5D Outdoor theaters' lights going out : W S J? heu Lance Corby started in 197,3 as a cook in the now-defuuet Hi-Way Drive-In, outdoor theaters were bnomiug. Now there $i W are only font In Broward and Palm Beach counties. But Corby,, doesn't expect the final curtain to fall jet. ' . "I remember they were all over. There was one on North Andrews Avenue, on Davie Boulevard, Broward Boulevard and another one on Federal. The drive-ins were a popular place back then Tin the '60 and early '70s," says Corby, 39 and manager of Lakeshore Drive-In- in Margate, one of only two left in Broward. "We have a limited clientele here. Teen-agers will always like drive-ins and so will young families with kids. It's a cheap night cut. That will always sell. And as long as they make good drive-in movies ones like Star Wars and Star Trek we will always have an audience." Home video machines, cable television and theaters that serve food and beer during the movies are to blame for the decline of drive-ins. So are the superior sound systems in indoor theaters. But drive-ins are fighting back. One of Lakcshore's four screens and two of Thunderbird Drive-fn's seven screens are equipped with radio sound, allowing customers to listen to the movie on their FM radio. Corby says Lakeshore plans to eliminate the rest of the window speakers and install the radio sound at the other three screens. During the day, the four drive-ins have outdoor flea markets. Race car driver Preston Henn of Hillsboro Beach owns all four dii veins and used to own the nine-screen Hi-Way Drive-In across from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, which was sold last year for airport expansion. , Want to watch your next movie under the stars? Your choices are: 0 The Thunderbird, 3121 W. Sunrise Blvd. Fort Lauderdale, Seven screens. . . . . , Lakeshore Drive-In, 1000 N. State Boad 7, Margate. Four screens. The Delray Beach Drive-In, 1 60 I N. Federal Highway, Delray Beach. Two screens. The Beach Drive-In, 1S0I N. Dixie Highway, Riviera Beacb. One screen. Bill DiPaolo The first screen: the side of a building By William E. Geist The-New York Time ne night in 1933, Richard Hollingshead Jr. took a projector outside, flashed a movie on the side of a building and sat in his car to watch it. Friends and family were worried about Hollingshead. He next patented a ramp system allowing the occupants of a car to see a screen over a car in front of them, and on June 6 of that year he opened the world's first drive-in movie theater, the R.H. Hollingshead Jr. Theater on Admiral Wilson Boulevard in Camden, N.J., showing Wife Beware. History did not record the first young couple unable to tell their parents what movie they saw at the drive-in, the first family bringing children in pajamas, the first teen-ager to enter in a car trunk and leave with a purloined speaker, but old-timers in the business say all of those things happened early on and continue today. This month marks the 50th anniversary of the drive-in. And not a moment too soon, according to experts who note the rapidly declining number Between 1943 and '58, the number of drive-in theaters in America rose to more than 4,000. Industry officials touted drive-ins as film's only hope against television. of drive-ins. One called them "the buggy whip of the '80s." "Nonsense," says Frances Smith, who attracted hundreds of motorists to her Ledgcwood Drive-In in Morris County, N.J., on a recent night to watch Psycho II through rain-splattered windshields. Movies were still showing on 3,178 drive-in screens as of September 1982, most of them on the outer fringes of suburbia or in rural areas where rising land values have driven them. Mrs. Smith opened her drive-in in 1952, when the a u to-dependent suburbs were booming and Americans wanted to watch movies in their commodious cars, cat in their cars, worship in their cars and drop off their paychecks at drive- up windows. Eventually, a drive-in funeral parlor opened. Between 1948 and '58, the number of drive-in theaters in America rose from 820 to more than 4,000. Industry officials touted drive-ins as film's only hope against the onslaught of television. "Going to a drive-in was like going to a carnival," says Sumner Redstone, whose father built the first big suburban drive-in theater, the Sunrise Drive-In, in Valley Stream, N.Y., with a capacity of 2,000 cars. Redstone thinks drive-ins will be extinct by the end of the decade. He tore down the Sunrise Drive-In and is rapidly converting 50 remaining drive-ins his company owns to other uses. "We had all sorts of rides in the old days at the Sunrise including a ferris wheel," he says. Other drive-ins sported miniature golf courses and special nights when bingo' games and live music preceded the movie or when families could bring outdoor grills for cookouts. Early on, drive-ins were condemned from pulpits and editorial pages as "passion pits" and some drive-ins would check cars In which no heads were visible. Party's on! But when ? BUT, UH, WHEN'S THE PARTY? ... The fancy, hand-scripted, personalized invitations arrived the first week of June: "We are inviting a particularly interesting group of friends to spend a very special evening with us at the brand-new Pier 66. Cocktails will be served on the terrace at 7 followed by an intimate opening night dinner in the sensational Windows On The Green. We know you won't want to miss this benefit for the American Cancer Society!" The phone calls began immediately at the home of Judy Kass, who had authored the invitation. "Sounds like a nice party. Can we go any night?" callers asked. "Is this some kind of elaborate trick you're playing?" they inquired. "I was so embarrassed. I forgot the date," says Mrs. Kass. "I can't believe I did that." Quickly, she issued a follow-up invitation, including the June 25th date and signing it, '"Very red in the face." But the mistake drew extra attention to the event and response has been good. "So in a way," Mrs. Kass says, "it kind of worked out OK." SUBTROPICAL TIDBITS . , , The owners of Shooters, a current "in" spot for wining and dining on Fort Lauderdale's Intracoastal Waterway, have bought out the neighboring Bootleggers. The switch takes place July 1, says spokeswoman Jan Idelman, with the Bootleggers name remaining intact but its menu changing to a raw bar format. "The owners of Shooters like to swim and there is a pool at Bootleggers," Ms. Idelman quipped ... Indiana sisters Shelley Huff-Schultz and Lyn Mancini, both living in Pompano Beach and both tiring of a teaching career, have launched Broward County's first home-sitting service. They are recruiting retired people to stay in the homes of vacationing residents. Pay averages about $8 a day. plus food and expenses, says Mrs. Schultz, who can be reached at 942-8140. ... David Slater, the traitic news reporter for radio station WIOD, has become the first civilian to be awarded a bronze plaque for public service by the Florida Highway Patrol. Slater was rewarded for helping raise $20,000 to pay medical expenses for FUP Trooper Al Lofton, who has multiple sclerosis. . . . Who is that dynamic individual pictured here in the guise of a mild-mannered, studious-looking teen-ager? Why, its newspaper columnist Ron Sympson, circa 1963. Will Ron Sampson his classmates be shocked and surprised when he returns to the farmlands of northern Illinois next week for the 20th reunion of his Winnebago High School graduating class? Probably not. Looks can be deceiving. WEEKEND WANDERINGS ... A gigantic Monopoly-type game called Boca Power Play is in place at center court in Boca Raton's Town Center. Measuring 27's-feet-by-35 feet, the game is a 25-cents-per-roll-of-the-dice benefit for Boca Raton Symphony Orchestra. Mall merchants are awarding $11,000 in prizes to Power Play winners. The game is on through June 26. . . . It is doggy show time Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Miami's Coconut Grove Exhibition Hall, a competition sponsored by the Fort Lauderdale and Miami Dog clubs. f, Facts of life TV with a dial tone By Amy F, Brunjes Suff Writer Cedar Rapids, Iowa, man after being tied up by robbers used his tongue to call police on his color TV set equipped with a special tele phone dialing feature. Advanced Space Phone is a color television feature that allows the viewer to place and receive telephone calls through the TV receiver. Tom Burt, 20, was asleep when two intruders broke into his house, robbed him at knifepoint and tied him to a chair. They ransacked the home and left with more than $500 in cash and jewelry. Burt used his tongue to press buttons on the TV set's remote control unit to call police. Zenith spokesman Paul A. Snopko says: "The phone offers advantages over conventional telephones because the kids can call grandma and can all join in the same conversation without leaving the room. And people with physical disabilities don't even have to get up to answer the phone." Here's how the Advanced Space Phone works: Using the buttons on the TV set's remote control, like those on a push button telephone, the viewer can place and receive local, long-distance and overseas phone calls. As the telephone number is dialed, the number appears on the TV screen. 3 Students 'flip' over her class Diane Benson, Page 3D Ultra-Orthodox Jews oppose State of Israel Temple news, Page 6D ABC to tackle incest on prime-time TV film . Bill Kelley, Page SD

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