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Brian’s Blog/ Drive In Movie Days, I Mean Nights [VIDEO]

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Today is Drive In Movie Day. At one time, Yakima had four. Those were the days.

The Tower. The Country. The Fruitvale. The Cascade. These were the names of Yakima’s four drive in movie theatres. The Country lasted the longest, into the 21st century. The others have been gone a long time. As a child, along with the Top Hi in Toppenish, the Tower and Country were the ones my parents would usually take us to. My dad would pop up big grocery bags of popcorn and off our family of six would go, usually to a western, which my dad loved. As a teenager, it was the Fruitvale or the Cascade. I did see The Godfather at the Fruitvale, but usually went to see movies that were risque in the ’70s, but now you can see that stuff on late evening basic cable. It was out at the Cascade that we spent most of our time. In the summer in Yakima, if you went to a triple feature, the sun was starting to come up when the last flick was ending.

My old friend Carl Olden, now Dr. Carl Olden, medical director at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, had a Plymouth Duster that we actually snuck guys into the Cascade riding in the trunk. It was fantastic fun.

Unfortunately, those places are all gone now. Land values made it impossible for the open space required to stay undeveloped. The Tower site is now home to Lowes and Shopko in Union Gap. The Cascade is the site of a mobile home park.The Country site is home to a huge dental clinic, while the Fruitvale still sits vacant.

My oldest daughter did get a trip to the Country Drive in in the Spring of 2001, for a Disney double feature. There are still some drive ins still in operation mostly in western Washington, but none in our area.

It was a great time while it lasted.

If you went to the drive ins as a kid in the ’60s like I did, you will recognize this video.

This is one of my favorite ’80s music videos, partially because it takes place at a drive in theatre.

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