It's the 1950s and you're all set for a big night at the drive-in movie! Roll down your car window, hook up the speaker, and hear the movie manager, Mr. Gleason, announce the rules to enjoy yourself, "in the comfort of your own car!" Upcoming attractions are acted out onstage, including "Time Travelers in Space Suits," as is the latest installment of a Western serial "The Adventures of Rocky Rhode." But not all the drama is coming from the big screen. Young lovers Tony and Gloria are arguing about the main feature, the scary "The Vampire's Hickey," and country girl Hilda is still hasn't found her car after visiting the concession stand. (Who can resist after watching dancing popcorn bags and soda cups ads?) This play is the next best thing to actually being there - you can almost feel the mosquitoes biting you! Full evening.
PLAYWRIGHT PAT COOK TALKS ABOUT
"SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE DRIVE-IN MOVIE"
Q.: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS PLAY?
A.: I ran across one of those old cardboard drive-In movie "Coming attractions" placards and got to remembering what an event it used to be for the whole family to load up in the old Buick and go to the drive-in. What a glorious time that was.
Q.: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PART OR LINE IN THE PLAY? WHY?
A.: I suppose the sci-fi preview "Time Travelers in Space Suits" and assorted shorts. I still, to this day, love to watch those cheesy old things whenever they pop up on TV.
Q.: WHERE DO THE CHARACTERS COME FROM? ARE THEY BASED ON PEOPLE YOU KNOW?
A.: Not any that I personally know, but remember seeing on the great silver screen in my youth. If anything it's sort of a tribute to some wonderful character actors and writers who made us all dream a little bit.
Q.: WHAT DID YOU TRY TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS PLAY?
A.: To show the whole thing as an event, an experience. Not just seeing the previews and feature attraction, but the squealing speakers, the people in the next car to you, the announcements from the managers and, of course, the misplaced reels and even the glitches where the movie hangs.
Q.: ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO SAY ABOUT IT?
A.: Yes. I sorely miss those days. I hope this plays sparks fond memories for those who got to go to drive-in movies, and show younger people, who never had the experience, the fun they used to be.