Pucker Up

By: Neil Feineman

My Spanish is at best un poquito, so it may just be wishing on star, but I'm thinking autocinema is just another word for "drive-in" theatre. It's not new turf for the residents of Monterrey, since DJs like DJ Spooky and Tiesto have already played the venue. But it is new turf for Sasha and Digweed fans, and makes the 1000-kilometer trek to Monterrey a lot more intriguing than it would be if it was just an ordinary club.

If you are of a certain age and come from a small town or rural background, it's impossible not to feel good about drive-ins. When you were little and didn't come from a lot of money, you tended to drive from place to place on your vacation. And your parents, if they were frugal and adventurous, would drive until dark, pull into a $1.50 per carload drive in, put you in the front seat and let you watch three "B" or second run movies while they slept in the back. Then, when the movies were over, they'd wake up and drive the rest of the way, thereby saving the price of the motel.

Then, when you were old enough to drive, you lived at the drive-in, because it was the only place you could be alone with your girl. There were three drive-ins in St. Petersburg, where I grew up, and they changed movies twice a week so there wasn't any problem seeing the same movie. Usually it was a triple bill of Elvis Presley or Vincent Price movies, but no one really watched the movies. In fact, we waited every year for the recurrence of my favorite urban legend: two teenagers, caught in the act and sent into shock that caused the girl to lock onto the boy so tightly that they had to be taken to the hospital to be surgically separated. Ah, for the days of yore.

In any event, drive-ins are virtually extinct. At their height in the late 1950s, there were 5000 "Passion Pits." Now there are only about 400, with the numbers dwindling every year. So, while they are probably not going to be showing any Elvis Presley movies on the big screen, the chance to see Sasha and John wake up the ghosts of those forgotten celluloid heroes is way too good to miss.

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