It will have cars and a big screen and twinkly lights overhead, but do not be fooled. The August Moon project, to be built in the parking lot of the stadium where the Tennessee Titans play football, will be the latest in the list of Things That Are Not Drive-Ins.
Mind you, it sounds pretty cool. Local artist Michael Counts’ vision starts with an inflatable 40,000 square foot dome like over some athletic fields. He plans to install a tall movie screen and 50 stationary mid-1960s classic cars for viewing it. Like a real drive-in, the August Moon will include trees, grass, gravel walkways, a starry sky, fireflies, and of course the moon. According to The Tennessean, “The entry price is expected to range from $8 to $20 with seating ranging from stadium seats to tree swings and the highest $20 cost for watching a movie while sitting in a car.”
Counts told WTVF, Nashville’s News Leader, that visitors will experience the perfect climate-controlled, mosquito-free viewing experience. “Close your eyes and imagine the perfect Summer night in a classic American drive-in movie theatre in 1965, and that’s where August Moon is going to take you,” he said.
But this isn’t an “indoor drive-in theater,” as some sources have reported. (During the heyday of drive-ins, there were occasional rumblings and trial balloons about true indoor drive-ins, but I don’t believe any made it off the drawing board. But I digress.) One of the basics of a drive-in theater is that you, the patron, must be able to drive your car into the theater. Hence the name.
The closest match to the Harvest Moon is the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Disney World. There diners sit in faux cars and watch a looping 40-minute hash of old movies and extras. That also sounds pretty cool, but not too many people will refer to it as an indoor drive-in theater.
Bonus: Here’s a silly article from the Sep. 19, 2005 issue of the wildly fictional tabloid Weekly World News saying that opening night for the world’s first indoor drive-in movie theater, in Ventnor IA, “ended in disaster when dozens of patrons had to be hospitalized for carbon monoxide poisoning.” It interviewed the suspiciously named owner, Ken Shoddy, presumably because Bat Boy wasn’t available.
So the Harvest Moon is the latest addition to our occasional series. Like grade school kids who sit in decorated cardboard boxes and watch a projector in the gym, like the local Chamber of Commerce lawn-chair night next to the civic center, and like the home theater that you can set up in your back yard, the Harvest Moon is definitely Not A Drive-In.