Tuesday, September 3, 2013
DALLAS -- Americans love their movies and they love their cars, so why aren't drive-ins -- an activity that combines the two -- more popular?That's the question explored in the documentary "Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the American Drive-in Movie." It deals with the rise and fall of drive-in theaters and will be shown at the Dallas Motor Vu Drive-in on Sunday.This is the first showing of the documentary in Oregon and director April Wright will be on hand at the Motor-Vu to talk with moviegoers about her film.Wright visited 500 current or former drive-in sites and interviewed a film historian, a sociologist and theater owners to explore the once-popular but now fading pastime.Fittingly, the 1975 classic "Jaws" will be the second film in the evening's double feature.The documentary marks the 80th anniversary of the American drive-in, invented by Richard Hollingshead in 1933 in New Jersey. He tested the idea in his driveway, according to driveintheater.com.Wright's curiosity about drive-ins began in the 1990s -- at the time only about 1,000 remained, down from a peak of 5,000 in the 1950s.However, Wright didn't begin working on the film until years later."In 2005 after I'd switched careers and was working in the film biz, the idea of making a documentary and drive-ins kept coming up," Wright said in a statement about the completion of her film. "When I looked back into the idea, there were only 500 (drive-ins). I was afraid if I didn't make this movie now, there would be none left."While she felt a sense of urgency to finish the film quickly, funding issues slowed postproduction.In all, it took seven years to complete, just in time to coincide with the 80th anniversary of the first drive-in and more recent efforts to save remaining theaters.The Dallas Motor Vu Drive-in also is celebrating a big anniversary -- its 60th -- with showings of classic films such as "The Goonies," "Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark," "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" and "Back to the Future" this weekend. Highlighting 80 years of drive-ins What: "Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the American Drive-in Movie." When: Sunday, gates open at 7 p.m. Where: Motor Vu Drive-In, 315 SE Fir Villa Road, Dallas. Of note: "Going Attractions" director April Wright will be at the screening Sunday to answer viewer questions ... For more information about Dallas Motor Vu Drive-in's anniversary celebration, go to www.dallasmotorvu.com.