Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Chubby elves obsessively ate popcorn and licked ice-cream cones on the big screen during intermission at the Edmondson Drive-In on Route 40 West, Catonsville, MD. Watching the cartoon characters gorge themselves between films in the open-air prompted patrons to get in line for all kinds of fun snacks at the concession stand. Hot dogs, hamburgers, french-fries and big soft-drinks were purchased cafeteria style and carried back to the cars for consumption. After a night of fabulous food and flicks sometimes drivers would forget to detach the theatre’s speaker from their car window. It was always a big embarrassment when your date yanked the speaker from its post.
Another source of embarrassment for this blogger occurred when I was paged in the middle of the Steve McQueen thriller, "Bullitt." There was no proper way for the theatre manager to find someone other than to interrupt the film on the sound system and announce your name for all the movie watchers to hear. It never occurred to me that some trouble had happened at home. After all, who tells their parents they are going to the drive in on a date? I had a hunch that my girl friend was on the other end of the line. This friend would often track me down in public places. This time she was bored at home and wanted to know how my date was going. The pay off for this embarrassment was that I was instructed by the concession stand clerk to go into the projection booth to accept the call on the wall mounted telephone. The room itself was spare and modest. I think the floor was concrete but I am not sure. It was manned only by one projectionist. The experience was thrilling--seeing the huge flickering projectors and hearing the clicking of the gigantic 70mm reels. So I have to say thank you to my old friend for obsessing over my Saturday night date at the Edmondson Drive-In Movie.

Here's Steve performing his own stunt driving in "Bullitt."
vrroooommm vrrroooommmmm


  1. I probably saw 3-4 score movies at the Edmondson, but the one that comes to mind is "Born Loser". It was the first 'Billy Jack' movie.

    Is this girlfriend still around? She probably would not approve of our blogdating...

    Do you think they used subliminal advertising to sell more popcorn and Coke?

  2. There were those dusk to dawn horror shows that always included "Blood Feast" too. I never saw that movie. Billy Jack did get lots of play on the big screen. Now I have the "Billy Jack" melody in my head.
    Not sure whether my girlfriend would approve of blogdating or not. I will ask her one day. And as for subliminal ads to sell coke, etc...honestly I don't remember patronizing the concession stand. We seemed to like our six packs of Michelob, Black Label and Rolling Rock... merchandise which they did not offer. Do you think the popularity of bucket seats helped to kill the drive-in movie business? Bench seats were so much cozier.

  3. I went on a date to see 'Night of the Living Dead' with Brent at the Edmonson DriveIn. About 2 minutes into the movie, I started to scream and could not stop. He could not drive out of the place fast enough. Scariest stuff I ever saw until the 'Exorcist.'
    Then I went to the Westview Cinema with Gus to see 'The Godfather.' We got as far as 'the horse in the bed.' He got so grossed out, he grabbed me and drug me out of the theatre. Never did see the rest of either movie.

  4. Judy I like your choice in your dates' names but you pick the wrong movies for yourself.