Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Batman Forever

Clipped from the June 24th, 1995 edition of the Charleston Gazette (WV).


  1. "A Thrill-Packed Joy Ride!" - as opposed, perhaps, to a joy-packed thrill ride?

    I've asked a variant before, Frederick, and if I missed your response or if you'd rather not respond, I apologize, but just curious - I notice a lot of your clippings are from papers in West Virginia: were you a resident at one time? I'm about 90 minutes south of Huntington myself, and one of my best friends from college is Beckley born-and-bred.

  2. Jay,

    Yes, I did live there, and many other places in WV and even across the river in Ohio. From 1965-1981 I lived at home with my mom and step-dad, (before that it was with my mom and real dad) and he wanted to move about every 3-4 months on average. We lived in over 40 places over the states of GA (my home state), FL (my favorite) and WV and Ohio (least favorite). I went to about 21 different schools growing up!

    In WV I lived in a number of places in Charleston, Spencer, Clendenin, Beckley, etc. After I was married I stayed in Beckley a few years before moving back to good ol' GA!

    So all those moves and a lot of trips are why the newspapers range over such a wide area through the years.

  3. Frederick, thanks for the information. I've been to Beckley a couple of times in the last ten years or so, just visiting my buddy, and always thought it was a nice little city. Hoping to have time to visit again sometime this summer.

  4. Jay,

    No offense meant with the "least favorite" comment, WV is indeed a beautiful place, but it was just too cold for too long up there for me! being a southerner, I just couldn't handle it, being wimpy and all...

  5. Ha! No offense taken, Frederick! Double-you-vee is a nice place to visit, and very pretty in the spring and summer, but not so nice that I've ever wanted to pull up stakes and move there myself. Those winters can be brutal!

  6. In the 60s I lived in Steubenville OH and my dad worked across the river in Weirton WV. We used to spend Saturdays at all the little movie houses and drive-ins, in towns up and down the Ohio River.

    Those were the days.

  7. CMX,

    I lived in Belpre OH for awhile as a kid, across the river from Parkersburg, WV, where I also lived. (We moved a LOT.) There was a drive-in near our place in Belpre that held a lot of attraction for me, but I never got to go. (see this post on another of my blogs:

    You are lucky to have such good memories!

  8. That's a great post about the drive-in! :)

    I was lucky, and I knew it. My friends and cousins were jealous that my dad was so much fun, and wanted to hang out with us, so sometimes we'd take one or two of them to the show with us. My dad was a very generous soul.

    In the winter we'd go to Saturday matinees (usually 2 or 3 movies) in the local indoor theatres, and in the summer it was the drive-in every Saturday night, sometimes with as many as 5 movies in a row (dusk 'til dawn monster-fests). It seems like most of the films we saw were AIP films, and we usually went for the sci-fi films and in my case, struggled hrough the horror movies. I was and am a sci-fi kid more than a "monster kid". ;)

    One of my favorite drive-ins was the Family Drive-In in Steubenville, literally on the banks of the Ohio River. In fact, one time the river was so high that the drive-in got flooded, the concession stand/projection booth nearly underwater. That's when they closed down for good, about 1965. The Family Drive-In had a lady who worked at the concession stand living only 2 doors down from us, and she used to bring me the newsletter every week with the list of upcoming movies. They'd have occasional Saturday all-night shows, 5 movies, and if you made it to the end of the 4th movie, there was free coffee and donuts for everyone, then they'd close it down for the night. Many's the time I remember my dad waking me up at the end of the 5th movie to watch the sun come up as he drove us home. And you know what? He loved every movie, no matter what it was, and he was always wide awake!

    Dad and I always wanted to make our own "drive-in movie" someday, and that's why I eventually went to film school, in 1975. I wanted to make a film for us. Someday.

    Those were truly the best years of my life...

  9. Great stories and great memories, guys. Thanks for sharing.

    I'm lucky enough to live within driving distance of two operating drive-ins: one, a restored and re-opened old drive-in in Norton, VA, and another newly built, locally-owned one near Jackson, KY. Some friends and I went to the latter one's opening night last summer. The first picture was the new Indiana Jones movie, which was itself a nostalgic treat, and we all had a great time under the stars with popcorn and chili dogs and lots of laughter. Like going back in time for a night.

  10. CMX,

    Thanks for sharing your story! I'm envious of your Dad like the neighborhood kids were! I tried to be like that with my own daughter as she was growing up, and we now have some good memories.

    There is a drive-in in the town of Jesup, GA that is about 45 minutes away, and I try to go when I can. Nothing like it!

    Jay, I haven't heard of a new drive-in in years and years. good to hear that they are actually being opened somewhere, they seem a dying breed!

  11. That newly built one is at Riverside, KY, about halfway between Hazard, KY, and Jackson, KY, just off of Highway 15. Its called the "Way Bak Wyn Drive-In" and its a fairly low frills place but as I said its locally owned and operated, and purely for the love of the old drive-in experience, as the family that owns it also owns a small multi-screen theater and entertainment complex in the area. Here's the website for the drive-in if you're ever interested in taking a peek:

    I'm hoping to get a group together to go over toward the end of the month to see that new Sam Raimi horror movie, "Drag Me to Hell", which seems like a fun movie for a drive-in :)

  12. Jay,

    I made my own "drive-in" once when I was in my early 20s. I used to get a 16mm projector from the public library and order films from them. One summer evening (when in WV) I pointed the projector out the window and onto the white back wall of another building on the property. I piped the sound out to big speakers I had, and then we all went out and sat in lawn chairs and watched "Jason and the Argonauts" in the open air! The neighbors brought out their lawh chairs into their adjoining yards and we had quite a crowd for the showing! A lot of fun.

  13. Frederick, wow! Now that sounds like a good time - and for everybody! You really know how to live, mister ;-)

  14. Thanks, guys. My dad's been gone for 17 years, but one day I'll make that "drive-in b-movie", in his memory.

    We've got a lot going on at the moment with the failing health of 3 close family members, so I'll be away for a bit. I'm finishing up a film project in time for a fall screening (if my cast doesn't vanish again), so that will help me stay sane with all the family stuff going on at once.

    Take care, gentlemen.

  15. CMX,

    I feel for you! Take care of things you have to do, and when have time to drop back in, let us know you're around.