From Wareham to Westport, families gathered on weekend evenings at the drive-ins that dotted Route 6 long before VHS tape and Blockbuster Video made the auto show obsolete.
Children in pajamas armed with blankets, pillows, popcorn and soft drinks filled the back of the station wagon, most losing their battle with sleep before the second part of the featured double was over.
The film’s soundtrack filled the car from a speaker attached to a pole brought inside to hang from the driver’s side window.
Families arrived at the drive-in early enough to secure a parking space so the children could play on the swings in front of the screen until the sun went down. Prior to that, he had gone to the restroom one last time before the upcoming attractions unfolded.
Families weren’t alone on these Friday and Saturday nights, as drive-ins attracted young couples looking to hang out and kiss.
It is approximately 32 miles from Wareham to Westport. There were four drive-ins along the way. All are gone now. There is now a tent church and commercial building where the Wareham Drive-In once stood.
However, the screens stayed high for several years, even after drive-ins ceased to be all the rage, as this photo from the 1980s shows.
The Fairhaven Drive-In is long gone, but the sign remains, a reminder of a bygone era.
The Dartmouth Drive-In was where Walmart is now, long before Target, Applebee’s, and even the Dartmouth Fire Department moved into the neighborhood.
Mid City Steel now occupies the property where the Westport Drive-In once stood. Nearby, the Ponta Delgada Drive-In provided entertainment for the residents of Tiverton, Rhode Island. Somerset also had a drive-in cinema.
According to Drive-In Theater.com. But in the 1970s and 1980s, cable TV, videos, and other more sophisticated forms of entertainment made drive-in movies less appealing.
The pandemic has resulted in a mini-boost in the popularity of drive-ins.
Drive-ins are still in operation in New England. New England today published a listing in July 2020. Unfortunately, none are in the immediate area.
What was your favorite drive-in? I miss Dartmouth the most.