April 20, 2024

Drive-in movie theaters have been around since about 1910, but the first patented drive-in was established in 1933, according to the New York Film Academy. Drive-ins are popular as go-to places for families to take their little ones, couples to go out for date night or friends to have a fun outing.

Mission Tiki Drive-In Theater and Swap Meet in Montclair, Calif., closed on Jan. 23. The Mission Tiki Drive-in posted on Instagram to announce their closure and encourage their loyal customers to visit the Van Buren Drive-in Theater and Swap Meet on Van Buren Boulevard, which is a 12-minute drive from CBU.

Fans of Mission Tiki Drive-in flooded their post with comments expressing sadness about its closure. Among these commenters was actor and filmmaker Bart Johnson, better known for his role as Coach Bolton from “High School Musical.”

“This is one of the treasures of Los Angeles!! It can’t close!” Johnson wrote in his comment on the post.

This leisurely activity is an experience many students on campus may not have had. Luckily, for students who live on campus or in the vicinity, Van Buren Drive-in Theater is still up and running, offering newly released films and older movies alike.

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Tristan Ryan, sophomore biochemistry and molecular biology major, had not been to a drive-in theater in years after the first couple of times he had gone with his family.

“It is cool to go back now,” Ryan said. “It is nostalgic.”

Drive-in theaters are not the typical place to go to catch a quick flick, but coming out of the pandemic, drive-ins were a great spot for people to practice isolation and social distancing.

“I did not know that drive-in theaters were still a thing until COVID-19,” said Emme Buhl, senior English major. “I heard about drive-in theaters because I would see them in old movies. During COVID, I wanted to go to drive-in theaters because it was one of the only open things you could do.”

Southern California lost a drive-in theater famous to the area, but the experience is not gone yet.

For those looking for a fun and private experience of nostalgia and comfort, the Van Buren Drive-In has the potential to deliver for students looking for activities to do around the area after 7:00 p.m.

While drive-ins may seem obsolete when competing with the usual sit-down movie theaters, it is a funky alternative that local students can still take advantage of. For more ifo visit the Van Buren Drive-in website.

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