Here’s a tiny anecdote that doesn’t really mean anything. I noticed that over at the Redwood Drive-In (West Valley City UT), they’re showing Epic followed by 42 as one of their double features. That’s six characters. Has there ever been an actual drive-in movie double feature with fewer than six characters in the titles?
(And another thing, why does the Redwood 6’s web site show just four screens active without mentioning the number 6? Google’s aerial view clearly shows six screens, and its Street View shows six double features on its understated sign as of August 2011. Did the Redwood take down a couple of screens? Will it ramp back up to six shows later in the summer? But I digress.)
Now don’t just send me any two titles or speculate that somebody somewhere showed Mud with 42. (For some reason, Mud didn’t show up on a lot of drive-in screens I keep track of.) Earlier this year, we had Argo and Mama at drive-ins but no one-character movies to go with them. If you want to research some old newspapers or some old page at the Internet Archive, you might try to find something to go with:
- Pi (released July 1998), not last year’s Life of Pi, this was an oddball film about a math genius.
- 54 (released August 1998), the disco-era retrospective with Ryan Phillippe.
- O (released August 2001), the modernized version of Shakespeare’s Othello with Julia Styles.
- P (released February 2005), an art-house horror movie directed by Paul Spurrier.
- R (released June 2011), an art-house prison drama starring Pilou Asbaek.
Were there any three-character titles in the summer of 1998? Did some drive-in show a short-titled film with O or one of those art-house movies with ozone-friendly themes? If you find a shorter double feature, leave a comment here with a link to the proof. Start digging!