This one-hour documentary special is a film celebration of America’s greatest icon of youth, freedom and the automobile.
LENGTH: 80 Minutes
CATALOG #: 20326
UPC #: 6-4603203269-7
ISBN #: 1-56839-226-5
RELEASE YEAR: 2006
PRODUCER: Don Sanders Marketing
NOTES: Extra Features includes a 20 minute reel of classic concession stand advertisements.
What began as an auto parts owner’s business venture to make some easy money accidentally became a magical place where romance, fun and a sense of community flourished. This film chronicles the drive-in’s birth and development, its phenomenal popularity with audiences of all ages, its tragic decline, and its inevitable comeback as a classic form of Americana.
Described by Variety as “slick and entertaining,” Drive-In Movie Memories includes photos and footage from the mid-1930s until today, a powerful original music score, and lively interviews with such notables as Leonard Maltin, Barry Corbin, Burton Gilliam, Beverly Garland, Samuel Arkoff, and John Bloom (aka Joe Bob Briggs). Drive-In Movie Memories covers every aspect of the drive-in movie-going experience: early outdoor projection, the marriage of the car and the movie, architects and drive-in construction, sound projection solutions, food trailers and concession stands, families and entertainment, teenagers and passion, church services, celebrity appearances, exploitation films, the effects of television and the VCR, and the drive-in’s decline and comeback.
Drive-In Movie Memories was an Official Selection at both the Chicago International Film Festival and the Telluride Film Festival, and won the Gold Award at the Houston World Fest. During its film festival tour, it played in over 40 festivals across the nation. Drive-In Movie Memories was produced by Don and Susan Sanders, and directed and edited by Kurt Kuenne, who also composed the musical score. The DVD includes such extra features as a twenty-minute reel of nostalgic concession stand advertisements.
2001 Telluride Film Festival
2001 Chicago Int’l Film Festival
Rhode Island Film Festival – WINNER – BEST EDITING
USA Film Festival – WINNER – TEXAS AWARD
Breckenridge Festival of Film – WINNER – BEST DOCUMENTARY
Big Bear Lake Film Festival – WINNER – BEST DOCUMENTARY
“I love it! An exceptional documentary.” – Leonard Maltin
“A real blast from the past! I only wish it was twice as long.” – New York Post
“A big, wet cinematic kiss… at once delightful, academic and entertaining.” – Chicago Tribune
“A terrific piece of work.” – NBC’s The Today Show
“A crisp piece of documentary filmmaking – loaded with personality and substance.” – Dallas Morning News
“A terrific film.” – Entertainment Weekly
“This highly entertaining and well-edited documentary provides a detailed account of the history of the drive-in movie theater, from the 1930s to the present day. The film intersperses nostalgic, campy archival footage and photos with entertaining interviews and reminiscences from a variety of notable personalities in the film industry, including well-known film critic…” Educational Media Reviews Online
“A fun, affectionate tribute to a mostly bygone institution that had a huge impact on American pop culture, Kurt Kuenne’s film festival award-winning Drive-In Movies Memories is highly recommended. Three and a half Stars.” – Video Librarian
“What Drive-In Movie Memories has in its favor is a nice historical overview of the venue’s rise and fall. It conveys a good sense of what it was like in its prime, and what made the experience great. The film even ends on a cautiously optimistic note, positing that the venerable drive-in theater may be down, but it is not quite out.” Larry Jakubecz/Celluloid Dreams
“Drive-in Movie Memories is a wonderfully crafted look at the fad from all sides: business, personal, and social. The filmmakers have interviewed the stars, the movie executives, the drive-in owners, and the consumers—and their insights are complemented by some amazing footage of the construction and history of drive-ins from all over the country, covering many decades. Loaded with anecdotes, trivia, and nostalgia, this documentary will appeal to baby boomers and beyond. Highly recommended. ” – School Library Journal
“Drive-in Movie Memories is a loving, if brief, look at the story of this American institution.”
“The film mixes archival footage with interviews from people like critic Leonard Maltin, B-movie actresses Beverly Garland (It Conquered the World) and Celeste Yarnall (The Mechanic), producer Samuel Z. Arkoff, Joe Bob Briggs, and a host of others—some famous, some not—to give us the history of the drive-in, from its dawn in Camden, New Jersey, in the 1930s, to its twilight (as VCRs became popular, multiplexes proliferated, and the value of land boomed), to its small but steady renaissance in the past few years. Along the way, we are treated to facts and figures, tidbits and trivia, and anecdotes and (of course) memories.” -DVDVerdict.com