Things that are not drive-ins

3M Streaming ProjectorBy now, you’ve probably got a pretty good idea about the what kind of news items you’ll see on Carload. This week, I found a couple of examples of news you won’t find here. Except this one time, to explain why.

3M supplied the photo on the right of its new Streaming Projector, which several sources promote as a way to “recreate the drive-in experience”. Now that’s a nice little device with some fun possibilites, and I hope my son’s 3M stock does well enough for him to have college textbook money one of these years. But that projector recreates the drive-in experience the way baking a Totino’s pizza recreates the Italian restaurant experience. The drive-in experience is sitting in your car surrounded by a bunch of other cars full of people wanting to have a good time. It’s walking in the dark across a hilly gravel lot to the concession stand for a hamburger. You can squint your eyes and pretend your back yard is like that, but you know better.

The second, more common, type of story comes from the Lebanon (MO) Daily Record, which notes that the local Kiwanis Club is hosting a “drive-in movie” night at the local civic center, probably in the parking lot. Hey, Lebanon, you used to have two drive-in theaters. A long time ago, I saw “The Goodbye Girl” at one of them. The way to hold more drive-in nights is to build a new drive-in. Or to go drive somewhere to a drive-in that’s still showing movies.

There are any number of well-intentioned groups that have the idea of a cute, nostalgic drive-in night. Probably a lot of those folks don’t know that real drive-in theaters still exist. But you won’t read any more about them here, because they’re just not doing it right. And the same goes for any new invention, gadget, or business model that tries to “recreate” being at a drive-in. No thanks, we prefer the real thing.