Here’s the story of another reborn drive-in theater. The old one was built in the 1970s, then torn down in the 2000s, and the neighborhood became swanky, and so now they want to rebuild it in the same place. That’s a twist! The site is in Bandra-east, next to Mumbai, which was called Bombay when the drive-in first opened.
Several English-language newspapers in India seem excited about the return, but the best and possibly the first news came from the Mumbai Mirror. It reports that the former swampy, mosquito-infested land that held the old drive-in has turned into the business hub known as the Bandra-Kurla Complex. The Mirror also said the drive-in was torn down in 2003, but a CNN report says that there was a final art gallery show, the kind that put Rudolph and Bambi in the empty ticket booth, in 2010 before it was razed. So maybe it just shut down in 2003? Hard to tell from here, but CNN’s photos are worth checking out anyway.
Returning to the Mirror story, the unnamed theater originally held 800 cars but will be rebuilt for 295. According to a senior officer of the Maker group, which is developing the drive-in, “Each car parked in the drive-in will be provided with a sound system and an AC duct to enjoy the movie experience.” Like an in-car heater, except for sweltering, humid India? That sounds like a great way to keep out insects and stay cool! For more details, you should just go check it out.
The Sunset Drive-In in Ahmedabad, photo by Chobist
According to The Times of India, a couple of drivers in Ahmedabad got into trouble Saturday night by racing their cars during the intermission at a drive-in. Not racing their motors, racing each other. The story doesn’t name the theater, but it was probably the Sunset Drive-In Cinema there. (That theater’s index page suggests that its “auditorium” looks amazingly like a classic 1958 Life magazine photo of a Utah drive-in. But I digress.)
According to Chobist, the Flickr contributor who took the photo that’s next to these words, the Sunset opened in 1973 and is “one of the most popular hang-outs in the city.” It claims to have the largest screen in Asia, and it holds over 600 cars, plus a covered “sitting facility” for the carless.
Back to the Times story. The security officer working at the theater said that the two drivers started racing during intermission. “Soon, other spectators gave way to the car drivers for safety as the drivers were determined to perform stunts.” Five minutes later, one of the cars overturned, one car rammed another (kind of fuzzy on whether those two events were related), and other theater patrons then beat up the two occupants of the ramming car before handing them over to police. Sounds like another night where the in-car entertainment was even better than the movie. Whew!