The romance with the autocines did not die in the US.



AFP /

Once a place of pre-teen love, the drive-in cinema has followed the path of the record player as a relic of retro nostalgia.

Despite the custom of watching Netflix at home, some cynics believe that romance is far from disappearing: in a rural setting in Virginia, viewers who are prepared to travel on time to enjoy their popcorn maz in a dual function under the stars.

The public can see the big screen of the privacy of the car – perfect for yawning, stretching and extending the arm behind the supervisor or outside, as if it were a meeting in the backyard where adults chat and play children.

The drive-in of the family in Stephens City (135 kilometers west of Washington) is one of the 300 of its kind that still works in the United States, far from the 4,000 in the 60's, when the concept reached its peak and became part of the American classic.

In this open-air cinema two films cost eight dollars, boys pay half and dogs are welcome. Opened in 1956, Stephens City drive-in theater is the only one in the region today.

"This is economically very beneficial for us as a family," said Debbie Williams, who attended the function with a group of children.

"Moreover, it is different," he said. "It's outside, outside, looking at the stars, instead of being locked up in a busy room."

The owner, Jim Kopp, says he has added modern technology, such as FM stereo sound and digital projection, to keep the Virginia autocinema in line with time.

Although traditionally one of the classics of rural areas, the driveways have also begun to settle in a niche in urban areas.

Once a month the Union Market in Washington offers a space for nostalgic people, with films that viewers see from their cars or lying on the grass on picnic tablecloths. The show includes a waitress on skates that slides between the audience.

For the young Josephine Crittenden, the drive-in was a remnant she knew in films from the mid-century, such as "Grease", including the classic scene of the agreement between the protagonists.

Seeing "Black Panther" sitting in his family's Bronco SUV from 1968 is a "special experience" for Crittenden. "It gives me a feeling of old," he says.


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