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 Here's a cool hobby 
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Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:51 am
Posts: 1112
Location: NH
 Re: Here's a cool hobby
The Northfield Drive-In in NH/MA (it actually straddles the border between the two states) still show the Pic ad before every film. I love it.

I meant to post on this thead long ago....an uncle of a friend of mine has a backyard theater setup that always sets me a-drooling. He converted is sun porch to house two full-size theater projectors, which throw a theater-quality image onto a large screen that he sets up in his backyard. He runs wires out to two large speakers on either side of the screen, and the whole neighborhood is always invited to come over for screenings (his way of making peace with them, cutting off complaints in advance). He either lets people know in advance that he'll be running a film, and they also know they're welcome if they hear the sounds of cinema coming from outside. He's an avid film collector, and has several dozen 35mm prints of films from the 60s-90s, as well as a ton of trailers and shorts. I haven't been there in a few years, but we had a great time watching MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL, TITANIC, CONTACT, and others several summers ago.

Great fun if you have the space and friendly neighbors.

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Thu May 07, 2009 1:44 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2007 6:46 am
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Location: Brookline, MA
 Re: Here's a cool hobby
Your friend's uncle's set up sounds awesome Mark! I wish I knew someone who was currently doing this--both to get a chance to enjoy a backyard drive-in experience and also to get ideas/thoughts for my own (hopefully some day) set up.

I also wanted to mention that my 40th birthday is coming up in September. As my wife demanded something special for her 35th last year, she's feeling like we should do something for my birthday this year. Believe it or not, she suggested doing a backyard drive-in night! This wouldn't be a full-blown backyard drive-in or anything, but should give me an idea of just how feasible it would be to make it a reality--kind of a test run. My wife thinks she'll be able to borrow a digital projector from work for the show (obviously this is the key element). We'll most likely just use a white sheet rather than invest in materials for a permanent screen until we know it will work out okay. I don't know for sure if this will actually happen, but I'll keep this thread informed as things progress...

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Thu Jul 23, 2009 12:33 pm
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Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2007 2:23 pm
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Location: milkyway galaxy
 Re: Here's a cool hobby
good luck!

its really cheaper than you think. a new projector can be bought at staples for $500. so i'm sure you could get a cheaper one on ebay. screens are very cheap.

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Thu Jul 23, 2009 2:34 pm
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 Re: Here's a cool hobby
good luck!

its really cheaper than you think. a new projector can be bought at staples for $500. so i'm sure you could get a cheaper one on ebay. screens are very cheap.

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Thu Jul 23, 2009 2:35 pm
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Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2009 3:31 am
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Location: Hingham, MA
 Re: Here's a cool hobby
That sounds like a great hobby! I always wished I could run my own movie theater!

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Sun Aug 02, 2009 4:49 pm
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 Re: Here's a cool hobby
it's a lot of work to run a movie theater. i used to work with a guy who owned a cinema pub. it was tough work for him and his crew and he had a tough time hanging on to people. i used to go there a lot but sadly its long since closed.

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Sun Aug 23, 2009 6:43 pm
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 Re: Here's a cool hobby
So, I haven't written about this since July 23. How time flies. Anyway, my birthday was yesterday. Because of the unpredictable weather and the fact that we wanted to make sure a lot of invitees could attend, we had our Drive-In Birthday Party two weeks before my actual birthday, on Sunday September 6 (Labor Day weekend). Sometime after posting above that we were planning on throwing our own version of a backyard drive-in, one of my wife's friends mentioned that she saw a company advertising that they would put on a drive-in party. We checked it out and decided to go with the professionals. While we had access to a projector (from my wife's work) and we planned on using a simple white sheet as a screen, we were kind of stuck as what to do for effective sound. The company solved that problem. we heard that the movie could be heard throughout the neighborhood! and, what WAS the movie? Well, for something like this I felt it could only be one thing: "Star Wars" (and yes, I do mean the original). Not only is it an all-time classic, but I also remember seeing it at the local drive-in way back in 1978 (one of my first drive-in memories). And, it also seemed a very appropiate movie for a crowd that would include both adults and children.

It ended up being a great night. We had a bunch of snacks and beverages available at the "concession stand". The company provided (for a fee) a popcorn machine and root beer on tap. While it did cost a somewhat large sum of money, it was totally worth it. There's no way we could have pulled this off ourselves. And, as a bonus, now we have some more good ideas about how we might eventually go about setting up our own backyard drive-i in the future! If there was a complaint about the night it was that it was a bit cool (not much we could do about that). I'd rather have that than some of the extremely unfomfortable muggy nights of a couple weeks earlier. The cool weather just encouraged people to wrap a blanket around them and real get that outdoor feeling that you would experience at a real drive-in late (or early for that matter) in the season.

By the way, the company that put this on for us is called Jericho Entertainment. If you live in the Worcester, MA area and are interested in putting on a drive-in movie night but don't have the resources yourself, check them out. They're a new company and the website doesn't have a lot up on it yet, but we were very happy with their service.

http://jerichoentertainment.com/


I'll probably write more about this, but for now, here's a few photos:

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Here's what our backyard looked like as the set up was going on



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I put up my old Quaker Drive-In (Uxbridge MA) on our clothes drying rack pole!



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What could be better than watching "Star Wars" in your own backyard?

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Mon Sep 21, 2009 2:26 pm
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Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:51 am
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Location: NH
 Re: Here's a cool hobby
Cool.

Looks like the projector threw a nice bright image.

I'm muy jealouso of the vintage Drive-In speaker. I know there's a company that sells old speakers on poles, reconditioned to be able to plug into your stereo. A Someday Self Present for me.


Happy birthday!




Mark

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Mon Sep 21, 2009 3:23 pm
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 Re: Here's a cool hobby
happy birthday sir!
looks like you had a blast.

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Mon Sep 21, 2009 7:35 pm
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Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2007 8:18 pm
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Location: Pawtucket, RI
 Re: Here's a cool hobby
Quote:
...we were kind of stuck as what to do for effective sound. The company solved that problem. we heard that the movie could be heard throughout the neighborhood!


This got me wondering something: If you're friendly with your neighbors, next time you could invite them along with your friends and family. Have everyone pitch in a little bit to cover the cost. That way one person won't be stuck with a large bill.
This is alot like my situation where I live now. I live at a prime spot to see the Fireworks at McCoy Stadium. Before the 3 fireworks shows this year we had a cookout, and everyone that came brought a little something for the cookout. This way one person (me in this case) wasn't stuck footing the bill for all the food and drinks. Worked out great!

This looked like it was alot of fun! This type of thing would be awesome to watch some of skorch's CDF movies complete with opening and commercials!

...And a Happy Birthday Glen!


Tue Sep 22, 2009 4:28 pm
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Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2007 9:21 am
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 Re: Here's a cool hobby
Beastball wrote:
Quote:
...we were kind of stuck as what to do for effective sound. The company solved that problem. we heard that the movie could be heard throughout the neighborhood!


This got me wondering something: If you're friendly with your neighbors, next time you could invite them along with your friends and family. Have everyone pitch in a little bit to cover the cost. That way one person won't be stuck with a large bill.
This is alot like my situation where I live now. I live at a prime spot to see the Fireworks at McCoy Stadium. Before the 3 fireworks shows this year we had a cookout, and everyone that came brought a little something for the cookout. This way one person (me in this case) wasn't stuck footing the bill for all the food and drinks. Worked out great!

This looked like it was alot of fun! This type of thing would be awesome to watch some of skorch's CDF movies complete with opening and commercials!

...And a Happy Birthday Glen!



Happy birthday Glen! It looks/sounds like it was an awesome time. Beastball, I thought the same thing as far as a classic CDF type monster movie but ultimately I think I would have gone with SW as well. If I ever get something like this going in my backyard I'm pretty sure opening night would be the original trilogy. If it ever happens I'd love to host a CDF party and would be happy to invite all who were interested.

On a semi-related note I was at a co-worker's housewarming party a few weeks back and they had a slip-n-slide along with a projector set-up and people were playing Nintendo Wii on the side of the garage, no screen just a white garage and it looked great. Anyway, someone making a running dive for the slide tripped over the game controller wire and the whole Wii went flying :lol:
After that the party moved indoors which was disappointing because I was hoping to catch a movie out there.

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Wed Sep 23, 2009 4:36 pm
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 Re: Here's a cool hobby
bummer

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Thu Sep 24, 2009 5:59 am
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 Re: Here's a cool hobby
It was indeed a great time (at least for myself anyway :wink: ). While I don't know when (if ever) I'll ever be able to really do my own true backyard drive-in, this was a great way to get the experience (and some very useful information if I ever DO get around to making my own) without having to invest in too much stuff and without having to do too much work myself. Finding the company that put it on was a stroke of luck. These guys even have the capability of broadcasting the sound over an FM transmitter--meaning you could set up something like this in a big field (or how about an abandoned drive-in for that matter?) and have guests drive in in their own cars and listen to the show on the radio, just as they would at a real drive-in!

We were concerned about the sound (and potential complaints). While the idea of selling tickets to offset the cost might be something to consider, it also raises the potential of someone thinking you're doing the whole thing "for profit"--in which case the motion picture industry might have some issues with the proceedings. With the sound factor in mind, we did print out some little invitations that we gave out to all our neighbors, explaining what we were doing and inviting them to stop by and check it out. None took us up on the offer (but we also weren't visited by the police either, so I guess it was effective).

As far as my drive-in speaker, while it looks good, it's actually only the front of the unit--I don't know what happened to the back portion. It does have the "guts" (speaker, volume control...), but can't be hung like it should (I had to rig it up using a wire so it would "hang" from our clothes drying pole--from which I removed the actual clothes hanging part, but the pole is obviously secured to the ground very well). It made for a nice display for the night. While it's not complete it still holds a special place in my heart--as it is indeed from the local drive-in theater of my youth (the Quaker Drive-In of Uxbridge, MA). I believe that my brother or one of my sisters must have either "found" it or otherwise acquired it back in the 70s, but to be honest I'm not exactly sure how it came to be in my posession (other than that I found it up in our attic many years ago).

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Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:12 am
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 Re: Here's a cool hobby
it's a pretty cool item sir!

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Mon Sep 28, 2009 6:28 pm
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 Re: Here's a cool hobby
Well, I guess it's time to re-visit this topic once again. It's been nearly two years since our backyard drive-in party, and I haven't done anything in the way of setting up my own drive-in (unfortunately). We were kicking around the idea of having another one this year, but suddenly it's already the end of July (where does the summer go?) and it doesn't look like we'll get around to doing it.

I did just write a blog about our backyard drive-in experience of 2009. While it contains mostly everything I've already said in this thread, there is a bit of additional information (including some research I did into trying to figure out when I saw "Star Wars" at the drive-in as a kid), as well as quite a few more photos from that night. If you'd care to check it out, here it is:

Oak Street Drive-In:
http://monsterdad69.blogspot.com/2011/07/oak-street-drive-in.html

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Thu Jul 21, 2011 5:07 pm
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