LIPGLOSS: Drive-in movies then and now

I’m a huge fan of drive-in movies. There’s actually one pretty close to the center of Austin, Blue Starlite, that makes for a great date. Still, whenever I go, I can’t help but think how the drive-in experience has changed–mostly for the better–since the inception of the concept in the mid-20th century. Here’s my conception of two archetypal Drive-In Date Nights.


Billy/Buddy/Jerry/Richard picks you up at 7:30 sharp. You’ve got on your cutest floral skirt, hitting seductively just below the knee, and your hair is curled without being too curly. Golly, Billy/Buddy/Jerry/Richard is one heck of a guy. You’re excited to go for a drive. Cars are so cool!!!

The drive-in lot is right outside of town in the middle of a field. It’s filled with teens borrowing their parents’ cars, each parked facing the screen so the car’s occupants can watch through the front window. B/B/J/R orders some popcorn and one large drink, two straws. He offers to order candy, but you decline because you’re “trying to reduce.” You ask him about his part-time job as a salesman at his father’s company. You pretend to be interested.

You scoot across the seat to lean into him, since the whole front seat is one big bench, and it’s uncomfortable but you stay there anyway. Midway through the first half of the double feature, he tentatively puts his arm around you. This sure gets you flustered, but you try to focus your attention on the horror movie playing in front of you. You take ladylike sips of your shared soda just the right amount of times, so as not to bother him constantly asking to pass the cup.

After the double feature, he drives you around a little for fun–because driving is fun and cool–and delivers you safely home by midnight. You don’t kiss him. You’re not that kind of girl.


Justin/Ryan/Michael/Tyler picks you up at 10, because that’s when the night really starts, right? You’ve got sufficient levels of caffeine in you to keep you awake. You put on shorts and a blouse with some random cut-outs in it, so as to be sexy without trying too hard. You try to braid your hair like this thing you saw on Tumblr but it looks like crap so you take it out.

You scroll through Twitter without really reading anything while you wait for J Justin/Ryan/Michael/Tyler to arrive. He texts you when he’s outside and you’re off! You hope it’s not that long of a drive. though, because that would be so awkward, and what the hell would you even talk about, and what if the music he plays is stupid?

The music’s fine. Coldplay. Safe choice.

You pull in to the drive-in and aim the back of the car at the screen, since SUVs are a thing now and allow you to sit comfortably on some sleeping backs in the trunk. The lot is filled with teens and young adults trying to feel old-timey and maybe a little ironic. It’s okay, though, because the walls of the trunk block your view of them. It’s like your own private screening! The movies tonight are also, appropriately, old-timey and ironic

You bring your own snacks because ain’t nobody got time for expensive movie theater concessions. When the movie ends, the foreplay is over. You and J/R/M/T go back to his house and make out while reruns of House play in the background.