Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

Follow That Dream: Remco Movieland Drive-In Theatre


Can't see the video? Try here.

How did I miss getting this keen drive-in theatre set when I was a child? I would have demanded one. There would be (Milk) Duds.

I eventually worked in hardtops and outdoor cinemas, off and on, for 40 years. My desire my entire life has been to own and operate a real drive-in theatre during the 1950s.

I'm finding that goal tougher to achieve in 2008.

Besides, ever since Randolph Scott retired, there's been nothing to show. Sooner or later, customers would have their fill of "Thunder Road" and "The Tingler." I suspect.

At this late date, I'd settle to own one of these Remco toy kits. The company ought to return the Movieland to stores. They'd sell tons of them. Drive-ins today often have four to six screens. Parents would be compelled to purchase six of these theatres to keep their child current and quiet.

A bit of modernization would be required to the facility, however. The little cars should do the springy-springy bouncy-bouncy (actual theatre lingo!) in the dark -- and a goon with a semi-automatic and a tattoo of his face on his neck needs to barge in and rob the assistant manager in the check-out office while the toilets back-up in the ladies room.

Remco must be certain there's no plunger included and "We ain't got no Diet Coke! We ain't got no Drano!" is bellowed in the Snack Bar every 2.7 minutes. This all has to be authentic.

Gosh. I love the drive-in life.

Did you recognize the girl in the TV commercial? That's Academy Award winner Patty Duke in the coveted role of "Ticket Taker," which led to "Helen Keller."

She's far too cheery for this theatre employee part, coming off, ironically, as a miracle worker. The official industry-standard job description of a ticket taker begs "more sullen, please."

I was sad to observe Patty didn't go pick up the trash in the Movieland parking lot, collect the used soda cups, resell them, and pocket the money for cigarettes and lottery scratch-offs. That would be realistic. Truly, it would.

Enjoy the show and bon app├ętit! Movies are still your best entertainment.
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