Tuesday, September 09, 2008

It's All About the Bengies, Baby!

There's nothing like a fun, quirky, (relatively) unique family fun activity! We procrastinated our Labor Day plans until the last minute again this year, and I'm so glad we did! We might not have remembered this little jewel:

That's right, Baltimore's own drive-in theater. With the "biggest theatre screen in the USA" no less. I love drive-in theaters. Well, I love the concept at least. Aside from Bengies a couple of times, I've only been once before and I was about 6. I think we saw Karate Kid: Part II out of the back of our sand colored Oldsmobile station wagon. Yeah, baby. I'm pretty sure I fell asleep, but that's not what matters. It's the safety and camaraderie and old small town feel that I imagine when I think of a drive-in. That's what I love. I'm a sucker for it. That's why I love Disneyland. That's what it's all about. Of course, this isn't 1958, and it is Baltimore, not River City, and the website has "strictly enforced" House Rules plastered all over it, so I was a little concerned the first time we went to Bengies that we would be turning around to high tail it out of there in fear of our small town safety, but it turned out okay. No riff raff. Of course, we've only been to see family friendly headliners, and we've only been twice... so....
Anyway, we checked it out for Labor Day weekend, and they were having their annual (semi-annual?) all nighter - movies all night long! That's another reason I love drive-ins - where else can you see more than one movie on a big screen for one entry fee?! Well, we aren't quite the party animals we used to be, but they were starting the night off with WALL-E, so we picked up some treats and headed on over. They have a pretty extensive snack bar (including things like pizza, jalapeno poppers, nachos, etc), but with our store bought treats, we opted to stop at Qdoba on the way and pay for the $7 outside food permit. I don't know that we saved that much money, but our food was probably better (there is also a Five Guys relatively nearby and I saw at least three McDonald's).
We had a lot of fun, but here are a couple of things that may be helpful to know:
Bring something for the mosquitoes. We were sitting inside the car with the windows half down, and we each got a least five bites. Some people were in the back of their truck or outside in camping chairs.
Check the weather. You can't keep your car running, so if it's hot, you're hot. If it's raining and hot, and you have to sit inside your hot car, with the windows cracked, then it's even hotter. I'm just saying.
Cars park in the middle, but anything other than a regular car (ie:Honda CR-V, truck, van, etc) have to park on the side. Like sitting on the very very side of a movie theater. So don't try to be tricky and borrow a CR-V thinking you'll be able to see better. (The website says you can park in the back, which would have been fine with us, but they directed us to the front side, so I don't know what's up with that. I think the view from the side would be better from outside, but we didn't bring chairs.)
Remember that being out of his car seat in the car is likely to be more entertaining for a three-year-old than watching a two hour movie about robots that don't talk. Again, I'm just saying.
Have fun!
Oh yeah, and check out Drive-ins.com to see where there is a drive-in near you!

1 comment:

Robinson Duo said...

Going to a drive-in sounds like so much fun. I would describe a drive-in movie as a quintessential American activity, and that is really cool. I think I talked Josh into going once in Springville (ages ago). His complaint is the sound isn't very good.