The following is a letter posted on the Yahoo Drive-ins newsgroup. I have reprinted it here with the permission of it’s author Jim Crouch.
Here is Jim’s report on his first visit to the Vineland Drive-In
Hello all. Sorry it took me a while to talk a bit about my Vineland Drive-in experience, but I had to go out of town for a couple of weeks. I had a really nice time at the Vineland Drive-in down in LA — or the City of Industry, if you prefer. The night that I went, the movie I chose to watch was on screen #2. I liked this screen. It looked better than screen #1. That lot looked smaller and had empty boxes laying all over the ground. Screen #3 looked nice as well, with a nice big lot, and screen #4 I didn’t get a good look at because it was directly behind me and behind the snack bar as well. I actually had a really good clear view of screen #1 as I watched my movie on screen #2. I thought that was cool.
I chose to park on the very far righthand side of screen #2, and I soon learned I was in for a neat surprise. Parking on the far righthand side on screen #2 gives you a front row seat to the passing “tram” or train. It was like an above-the-ground subway that carries people to different parts of LA. This had to be the neatest thing I saw at this drive-in. I looked at my watch, and about once every hour or so, a “tram” full of people will fly by. I noticed that the people on this tram were looking out the window at all the people at the drive-in, too. That was so cool to me.
One time when the tram came by, I saluted everyone on the tram by holding up my drink in the air. lol. I had a hot dog while I was there. It was pretty good. The drive-in restrooms are different than the ones I go to here in central California — lots of urinals to choose from. It was a big restroom. That fact that the restroom was inside the snack bar was different as well because the drive-in restrooms that I’ve been going to have no access to the snack bar. It’s always on a different side of the building.
I thought all the bleacher seats near the snack bar was a nice touch, too. If you get tired of hanging around your car, you can go to the bleachers.
As you all may or may not know, I live in Bakersfield. I made the trip in 2 hours and 15 minutes. I left my house in Bakersfield at 4:00 p.m, and I got to the drive-in line at 6:15 p.m. when I told the lady at the ticket booth I came from Bakersfield, she was absolutely shocked. It was funny. I became famous. She spotted me later that night at the snack bar, and she was telling the other concession workers that I was that guy from Bakersfield.
It would have been nice to see all the people from the SoCal DIMS, but I will return there and when I do, it will definitely be on a night that you guys have one of your meetings there.
I left the drive-in a little past midnight at 12:15 a.m. It was about halfway through the third movie. (they played the first movie over again after the second movie). Since I lived over 2 hours way, I wanted to leave at a time where I can get home before 3:00 a.m. The plan worked. I got home about 2:30 a.m.
Once again, I had a great time at the Vineland Drive-in in LA and will be looking forward to a return trip someday. My next drive-in adventure will be sometime within the next month or so at either the Hi-Way Drive-in in Santa Maria or the Sunset in San Luis Obispo. I will keep everyone posted.