Friday, August 9, 2013

The Belmont Drive-In is back!

I cheered when a reader sent me the news that the Belmont Drive-In, the closest ozoner (as they used to be called) to Charlotte, is re-opening today. Sure enough, the website ( says that the fabled drive-in established by the late Bill and Peggy Lawing will be showing "Elysium" and "Grown-Ups 2."

I haven't been to a drive-in since Bill Clinton was president: I have no kids, I don't like the heat, and I see most movies before they open anyway, because I'm writing reviews. But I get a nostalgic buzz when I think of the glory days of the 1970s, when I parked under the stars at a drive-in at the wheel of a friend's borrowed convertible.

The $10 per carload price makes drive-ins economically competitive, too. My wife and I can see a matinee for $5 each, but I'd be heading for the drive-in if I were bringing a bunch of children. (I can still remember when admission was charged by the head, and we stuck a guy in the trunk because we didn't have the cash to get him in legitimately. The per-carload price prevents the need to shove a pal next to the spare tire.)

Of course, snack bar sales keep a place like this open, as the site acknowledges, and I smiled as I perused the menu. It includes State Fair corndogs, 130-ounce buckets of popcorn, whole kosher dill pickles and pickled eggs. Clearly, this place can feed a carload of people, too.

It may be late in the season to open a drive-in with little fanfare, though we've got a couple of months of warm weather left. I hope nostalgia freaks, young people and big families will keep this place in business, even if old fogeys like me rely on air conditioning and a roof over our heads that doesn't belong to a sedan.


Anonymous said...

Excellent. I will check it out when they book worthwhile film.