Sunset Drive-In opens tonight! – Something good happened in Erie, 5/15/2020

Without further ado, your Idiotville feel-good story of the week:

If you’re the type of person who likes to go out but doesn’t like dressing up to go out, there’s no better place for you than a drive-in. If you’re the type of person who likes movies anywhere outside of Red Box or Netflix, the drive-in is also your only current option.

That’s why I think Sunset Drive-In owner Dennis Koper really undershot the price of admission for tonight. It’s 50 cents per person! Speaking only for my own family, who had been stuck at home for nearly 60 days prior to this week, we’d pay 50 cents to water a patch of grass and see if it grows. There have to be thousands of people in Erie County in the same boat.

I know the movie itself is sort of a secondary feature of the whole drive-in experience, but in case you’re wondering, The Vast of the Night will be the feature (and only) presentation this weekend. It’s available only on Amazon, and is about a couple of kids in the 1950s whom “search for the source of a mysterious frequency that has descended on their town.” Sounds a little bit like Stranger Things, which would be great.

Of course, not even sitting in your car at the drive-in is the same these days. There’s no snack bar, for one thing, so no oil drums of popcorn drowning in butter or $5 bottles of Pepsi. Only one person at a time in the restroom, which seems like it could’ve been a rule long before now. You still need to bring your mask for interactions at the ticket booth and anytime you leave your car. Finally, no free-range kids – they stay in the car at all times.

All things considered, this sounds like a pretty normal atmosphere, which is what counts as good news these days. Any sign that we’re ok to come out of hiding is a welcome one. When that comes with a movie on a big screen against the backdrop of the night sky and whatever snacks you can fit in your car, that’s something you can’t miss.

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