by Anna Wright
Roddie Macchi has worked some Roddie magic again! He is offering something very unique for GCG (and hypergrid) residents to enjoy by creating a drive in movie theatre region. The build is still in the works but looking amazing so far. And, most importantly, the grid boss man is having fun:
“So its been awhile since I took a break and actually built something lol...the last time I built something I made the GCG Welcome region..so I've started on a GCG Drive IN! for events or couples wanting to spend some time together...anyone can come here from the hypergrid and plop their car down and watch a movie...well...soon they can I'm not done yet but getting there.”
The Great Canadian Drive In sign is care of the always wonderful work of Marianna Monentes.
Drive In theatres are now an endangered species in the pastimes of human recreation. An article in the Toronto sun listed less than 50 drive ins across Canada as of 2013. It’s likely a lower number than 50 now. The article lists some intriguing facts:
- Canada’s first drive-in was the Skyway Drive-In in Stoney Creek, Ontario. It opened in 1946, but closed up shop in 1975.
- Canada’s oldest continuously operated drive-in is the Port Hope Drive-In, located on none other than Theatre Road in Cobourg, Ontario. It has been there since 1952.
- The first drive-in theatre debuted in Camden, New.Jersey., in 1933 — with a screening of the movie Wives Beware.
Alright GCG, here’s the most exciting part. Right here, coming next, are you ready for it?! Roddie has his own very unique history and perspective on drive in theatre. He used to own and run one in the real world! This is his story in his own words:
“Well back when I was 23 I bought my first turn key operation which was called The Mustang Drive IN in my home town...so I know a lot about drive ins and wanted to bring it to the GCG. The drive in back in the day was the most fun as a teen and I always wanted to own one so I did. We use to sneak booze in and people in the trunk of the car...its funny cause I knew all the tricks so if I saw a couple that looked like they were sneaking someone in...I turned a blind eye for the fun of it to some. I knew what they were up to but I let it go. But when it came to booze...that I always made sure of...but of course I may have missed some ;).
My build is actually a replica or what I’ve tried to replicate the old mustang drive in I once had...it brought back a lot of good memories...but I thought wow we all miss those good days of snuggling in a car meeting friends and sneaking booze around lol...meeting up at the diner during intermissions...playing on the swings as kids when your parents took you to it...all those things...so that’s why I made the Drive in again...its a huge part of my history in RL and history for most my age in general.”
That is just wicked cool!
There are some beautiful and haunting pictures of Roddie’s old Mustang Drive In years after it was abandoned in this article:
You can really see how Roddie has artfully recreated the feeling of the place in his virtual drive in. Those are some mad skills there Mr. Macchi!
What invokes the romance in the now nostalgic culture of drive in theatre? There’s an overtone of an epic era as a foundation. Memories are linked to the senses; smell, sound,
sight, taste, touch. One particular writer expresses this with anecdotal realism. A journalist from Columbus, Georgia named John Gilbert has written a 7 part series called Reflections After Dark, about his childhood and family connection to drive in theatre. He cleverly captures the feeling of being at a drive in:
“It was now twilight and the lot was filling up fast. The smell of popcorn mixed with frying hamburgers wafted across the lot. The rumble of automobiles with the accompanying sound of gravel crunching under their tires greeted my ears. There was also the sounds of people moving toward the concession and others returning to their cars with trays of popcorn and soft drinks. Adding to all of this was the pre-movie music playing from hundreds of speakers.”
Our GCG Drive In region has the makings of a full diner. The diner is the 1950s Retro Diner by Koshari Manhana. It’s a gorgeous build unto itself and it fits so perfectly here.
There’s more in the works for this dynamic build but already we can see where Roddie is going with it. The Mustang lives on in GCG.
The sweet retro little speakers are care of the talented Linda Kellie.
The sun is just sinking and the sky is showing the makings of a perfect night under the stars across the whole endless pastel horizon. Get your avatars in their comfy summer clothes and find a good spot to rez your favourite car. Take a little stroll before you settle in for the show to the diner and grab some refreshments and maybe a juicy Canadian beef burger. You can almost feel the grass against your legs and hear the surrounding sounds of motors and tires and laughter as people gather. Keep a keen eye out for the announcement that invites us all to this kind of evening when the GCG drive in opens. Be sure to sneak in both booze and extra passengers, just to help Roddie remember the good times past too.
Roddie Macchi, Facebook post, April 26th, 2017.
Roddie Macchi, email correspondence, various dates.
Reflections After Dark – by John Gilbert