Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Skylark, Day 26

Remember your local drive-in? This is a photo of The Skylark, our local drive-in for decades. I remember it well. I'm not sure when it was built, probably the late 40's. It was built by the wealthy architect/banker who also built many other notable buildings, including a home that goes by the nickname, Cat House. Back to Skylark, there were living quarters for the caretakers and large playground. Back before TV, when everyone went to the movies, the parents would go to the Skylark and watch the movie while the kids played on the playground. I remember sitting on the slide, looking up at screen or swinging and watching the movie. There was an artesian well beneath the drive-in and a pipe came up out of the ground. It was like a fountain spurting out of the pipe and you could catch a drink but I hated the taste. We called it "iron water".

The Skylark was known for its slaw dogs and popcorn. Of course, it had the metal speaker that you hung on your car door window and there was a knob to control the volume. Sometimes, there was static on it. No such thing as surround sound! And, mid-week was a bargain. A dollar a car, regardless of how many people were in it.

Young love blossomed at the Skylark. By the 60's, most of the crowd were teenagers. The kids who had grown up in the playground were now driving and dating. Usually a date meant going to the Skylark where you would see your friends. Sometimes everyone would park in a row and yell back and forth at each other. In the summer, we'd sit on the car hoods. The steady couples always parked in the rear and often times, all you saw were twirling tennis shoes in the windows.

By the time the 70's arrived, the Skylark's business was fading and the drive-in era coming to a close. A new twin cinema was built and everyone preferred the comfort of an indoor theater with padded seats and good sound.

The Skylark is gone now, torn down years ago. A piece of social history disappeared but it remains in the memory of all those who recall what it was like to watch a movie under the stars.

I think this is Day 26 on my progress schedule. I completed a few pages today but my progress is slow on this chapter. I'm going to outline some tonight.


Mary said...

I remember going to the drive in with my parents. I had to stay in the car though. I don't remember a playground at the one we went to. I loved your post! Here in Atlanta, there is still a working drive in. I've never been but I've heard of it. You make me wonder what its like... but this is Atlanta... so I'm not sure :)

I just googled it... I DOES look fun!

Dixie Belle said...

I wish they hadn't torn down the Skylark. There was a working drive in at a small town near here. It is the only movie theater they have. I looked at the Atlanta website. They even have several screens!

Mary said...

Several Screens... I saw that too!! It is further away from me than I thought. I thought it was further North in Atlanta. It would probably take 45 minutes to a hour to get there considering traffic. But it does look like it might be worth the trip just to see what it's like.

Donna said...

Wonderful post!! Boy, do I remember Our drive-ins..We've got one left standing but it's now used as a flea market...Happy writing sweetie!!hughugs