Sunday, October 7, 2012

Happy Halloween.......Intercity Drive-In Theatre 1960's...

I know it's a bit early for a Halloween post but I have been working on this for awhile and thought what the.....    I might as well post it now, and uh...Happy Thanksgiving Day to all....we are so blessed for what we have! 
......Have a great long weekend and I hope you enjoy this off the wall post!!
Do you remember "Dragula" from the Munsters??
...Here is an old newspaper ad from our own Intercity Drive-In Theatre which was noticeably directly across Oliver Road from the Port Arthur Golf and Country Club, fairly close to where the Oliver Road entrance to the Regional Hospital is.
Below is actually a fantasy sign that might have appeared near the road entrance to the Drive-In and this next photo is a very rare shot of the Oliver Road side of our Intercity Drive-In looking a bit run down and probably taken near the end of its days. 
It was great fun to take your honey out to the drive in especially for the horror movies, to scare the daylights out of her and to nearly have her sitting in your lap in fear......:-)

This is also a neat little fantasy poster from our drive-in
saying that it is the last showing for 1954, and being
December that heaters would be supplied.  Some theatres
would have speakers with actual electric heaters in them.
Not too efficient though.


Films such as "Black Friday" and "The Blob" were a couple of my favourites during the 50's and 60's.  I actually didn't attend a drive-in myself until at least 1960 when I finally got my driver's license.  I had my license before most of my friends did, so we did the pile in the trunk thing in my 1949 Chevy, to get us all into the theatre and only paid for a couple of tickets for myself as the driver and one buddy riding shotgun.  Honestly we only did that a couple of times, but never got caught.  Your license plate number would be posted and you would never get back into the theatre if you did get caught.

Another great film was that of the famous War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells.  The actual radio broadcast was a disaster because many people  believed that it actually happened!


The King Kong poster shown below to the right is another very cool little fantasy poster saying that is is being shown at the new Odeon Theatre in Fort William. 
Just a note sure to click on all the photos to see them enlarged!

Here are a couple of fantasy photos .....well uh...maybe not a fantasy if you were lucky :-).....If the films were bad, you could snuggle up and smooch a bit, but many Drive-In's had a NO - NO approach to that.  Signs would be posted at some stating that it was a movie theatre and if you engaged in any Hanky Panky that you would have to leave.....I can't remember what the local policy was regarding that!!


Here are some great comedy "horror" films that we might have seen at the Drive-in.  Well, actually most of these so called "Horror" films were pretty much comedies anyway.  Remember Leo Gorcey and Huntz Hall and all the Bowery Boys films at the Drive-In and also at the Royal Theatre in downtown Fort William.  Some of my favourite films in the 1950's were the ones that basically starred Francis the talking mule.  Donald O'Connor who initially starred with Francis in a number of comedy films actually left for other endeavours because the mule always took top billing.  This next "Horror" film was with Francis and none other than Mickey Rooney as the side-kick after Donald O'Connor called it quits.

There were many "B" Horror films made with the then very popular comedy team of Abbott & Costello as you can see from the posters shown here and above.

Charlie Chan films were another favourite....well lets say I just enjoyed going to the movies and the Drive-In as a kid.
Surely those were the days my friends...I thought they'd never end........
Thanks to "John's Forbidden Planet" for most of the wonderful posters.


Corey Cano said...

The actual entrance to the Drive-In was where the Jehovah's Witnesses Assembly Hall entrance on Oliver Road is today. It makes sense as the entrance is right across from The Thunder Bay Country Club. I wish Thunder Bay could get a Drive-In theatre back some day as everybody loves retro. Fantastic post with awesome horror poster pictures. Horror movies were much better back then with more psychological terror compared to the blood and gore you often see now. Thanks. Corey

Dave Cano said...

Thanks for the great comment Bro... Happy Thanksgiving too!!

GRW said...

Great memories. I grew up just up the road from the Drive-In (by where the Expressway now crosses Oliver Road) and, when we were kids, my friends and I would sneak into the back of the parking area through the bush off Golf Links Road to watch the movies for free. We would lay on the teeter-totters at the front facing the screen and there were always enough speakers turned on for us to hear the movies. I saw my first spaghetti western (A Fistful of Dollars) that way. When I think back on it, I realize that the staff must have known what we were doing, but they didn't seem to mind (we knew better that to try to see a restricted movie).

I now live in Southern Ontario and am lucky enough to have a drive-in nearby (The Mustang Drive-in near Guelph), so my kids have also been able to have the "drive-in experience". The place here is usually pretty busy: I agree with Corey that everybody in Thunder Bay would love the retro experience and would probably support a new drive-in.

Dave Cano said...

Hello GRW and thanks for your thoughts and memories....I truly enjoy when people leave their thoughts and notes on the blog site. Thank You