We have a (relatively) local – “old fashioned” drive-in movie theater near where I live. They have first run movies and show a double header on F/S/S each week. I’ve been getting the announcements about each weeks movies and thinking that I should try and take the kids out to see what it is like.
The Goochland Drive – In (even the name sounds rural) is out in the country about 20 miles west of my house. It is right off the highway so it was pretty easy to find and get to. The only problem is that …well…it is 20 miles west of my house and my kids don’t do the unknown very well. The reactions during the afternoon ranged from…”no! I don’t want to go to the movies!” to …”why can’t we go to the movies inside?” …to… why don’t you buy me a prize and then I’ll think about going?…
Yeah, I was pretty jazzed up to start driving out there. Gates open at 6 PM for a 8:45 start time. I had read that it was pretty busy and you needed to get there early or you might not get a spot to park. So, I decided to leave the house around 6. I thought the kids would want to have the whole experience – hot dogs and hamburgers from the concession stand …playing in the playground…
We arrived around 6:45 after I had to get gas in the car. When we pulled in there were only 3 other cars. Turned out it was a very light night – as I found out when the owner went walking car to car prior to the show talking to people, thanking them for coming out and making sure that everything was okay (oh yeah, and as he was washing his vintage Pontiac Firebird while we were eating dinner).
The playground must have been recently renovated cuz I had read somethings on-line about metal swingsets and this was anything but. It was a newly built large wooden climbing set and a separate toddler section of plastic slides and doll houses surrounded by a wooden fence – the perfect place to sit on a wooden picnic table and let the kids run!
At 8:30 we got popcorn and ice cream and headed back to the car for the first feature film. It was “Cats and Dogs 2” – we had some technical difficulties with the radio on the car but the cars next to us had theirs so loud we could follow most of the film. At the 15 minute intermission we started the car up and I was able to get the radio to play for the next film – “Iron Man 2”. We had lost Addison during the first film so she went back into the car seat and got buckled up. The 3 older kids and I stayed up to watch Iron Man. Matthew loved every minute of it but his constant commentary and questions drove me a little crazy (he assumes that I understand everything but if I haven’t seen the movie, I can’t explain things to him and he can’t follow the film unless he can understand it). There were a lot of “I haven’t seen this movie” and “Watch it and you will see” responses. Ultimately Riley and Logan nodded off and Matthew and I watched the end of the movie.
We got home around 1 am and then had to get up at 7 to get the boys to their tutoring session.
The price of the movies was $7 for adults and $3 for kids over 3. So, definitely worth it for 2 movies but in the end, I spent as much as it costs me to take them to the regular movies – – given that I had to buy dinner and snacks. Next time we go, we’ll probably end up eating before we leave and just snacking during the films.