Joe Bob Briggs, the esteemed Drive-In movie critic, once wrote the only way to enjoy watching movies was "out under the stars, like God intended, in the privacy of my own automobile."
Sadly, that experience is just about cooked. In Tucson, those days died when the De-Anza Drive-In was demolished in 2009. As of this year, only 357 drive-in theaters exist in America.
Come September, make that 356. According to the Globe Miami Times, after almost 60 years, the Apache Drive-In in Globe is closing their gates. It's just another casualty of the recent push by Hollywood studios for theaters to covert to the digital format. All across the country theaters are shutting their doors because they can't afford the new technology.
This Labor Day weekend is the last weekend the Apache Drive-In will have regular programming, but on Sept. 28 they're having one last picture show. They'll be showing American Graffiti, George Lucas' film about hot-rodding, sock hops, and coming-of-age in the clean-cut early '60s. Starring Ron Howard, Richard Dreyfuss, Cindy Williams and Wolfman Jack, it's a perfect film for the Apache to go out on. Tickets to the event are limited to 200, and they're going fast. You can find more info and purchase tickets here.
Now's a good time as any to take the Official Drive-In Oath. Written by Joe Bob Briggs (aka humorist John Bloom, whom you might remember from The Daily Show's "Godstuff" segments) over 30 years ago, it's the only manifesto to my knowledge for the drive-in aficionado. Stand up and be counted.