I am often amazed at how many different things there are to do in Nova Scotia. The boy and I were looking for something fun but a little "different" to do one Friday night. We thought about going to see a movie. I had the (rather bright, if I do say so myself) idea to take in a movie at the Valley Drive-In Theatre. Sure, you could go to Empire Theatres and be corralled into huge line-ups and shiny, modern theatres with screens the size of a skyscraper, but why not change it up once in a while? Don't get me wrong - I love that we have these large screens here that give us the ability to see popular films but I also love that there are little pockets of the province where things are presented in a simpler, quieter way. Living in the past isn't very good, but taking occasional trips? Heavenly.
In about an hours drive from the city, we arrived in Cambridge, a small, quiet community which I did not know even existed until I researched directions to the Drive-In. We knew we were approaching the theatre before even seeing the sign because every car in front of us and the ones coming from the other direction were turning into the same place! Clearly this is a popular spot on a Friday night in the summer! Although, it could have something to do with the fact that we arrived only 20 minutes before show time (tip: arrive at least 30 minutes early).
Fifteen dollars and five minutes later and we were parked in a spot about halfway back from the screen and ready to settle in to a night of relaxation and nostalgia. If not for the brand new films showing on the big screen that night and the modern car models sitting around us, we could have easily been in 1955. I half expected Olivia Newton John to walk by in a poodle skirt!
While waiting in line for popcorn, several planes flew overhead and provided free pre-movie entertainment in the form of adventurous skydivers floating just above the theatre site. This added a fun extra touch of whimsy to the whole experience.
What is even more delightful is the fact that this theatre almost closed its doors at one time until the local Lions Club stepped in and bought a new lease for the property. The original loan that the Club took on to keep the doors of the theatre open was made up, and then some, allowing them to donate the surplus to local schools. To this day the Club donates portions of profits to community groups. The community spirit behind this place made me love the drive-in even more.
Did we miss the comfort and shine of the large city theatre? I'll admit our necks would have been slightly less stiff in those cushy red seats, and a large screen and 3-D glasses would have made the movie easier to view. But know what I didn't miss? The overpriced concessions, sticky floors, and kicking of my chair by childish feet. We could have stayed in the city and went to Empire, but snuggled in our car seats with our popcorn and chocolate, surrounded by other couples and families snuggled in theirs, I felt content knowing that we were taking in one of the little pockets of fun, history and community spirit that exist all over the province.
It felt good to be spending our Friday night taking a Drive-In to the past for a change.