Tag Archives: drive in movie

Let’s Go to the Movies!



Last weekend we ventured out for the time since March for an excursion other than a supply run or essential business. Our local drive-in movie theater received permission from Harrisburg to re-open. While movie theaters are considered high risk environments, drive-in movie theaters have been deemed safe.

Offering all the best of the movie theater experience with minimal risks, and we jumped at the chance to get out of the house and watch a movie on the big screen.

Dependable Drive-in has created a new set of policies to keep guests safe… guidelines that were handed to each guests at the entrance.

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These guidelines included an unoccupied space between each car as they opened at 1/2 capacity, mandatory masks if guests left their parking spot, the addition of touchless soap dispensers, sinks, and paper towel dispensers in the bathrooms, with a limit of two guests in the bathrooms at a time.

They were also allowing guests to bring in their own food for those hesitant to take advantage of online ordering at the concession stand.

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On opening night Dependable Drive-in was offering two movies. It was a test run for the drive-in, so rather than offering double features at their four screens, they offered a single movie at two of their screens. The choices were Trolls: World Tour or The Vast of Night (An Amazon original movie). We opted for the latter.


Suspecting that opening night might be busy, and since they were only admitting half the capacity, we arrived at the drive-in 90 minutes before the movie began. We weren’t the only ones being proactive. As we turned off the highway exit we were greeted with a line of brake lights, as cars waited to enter the drive-in.

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When it was our turn to enter we paid the special “opening weekend” price of .50/person. For a whopping $3.00 we enjoyed a night at the movies!

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As we waited for the movie to begin, we played card games, safely tucked away in our parking spot.

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As the opening strains of the Star Spangled banner began to play, signaling the start of the movie, treats were passed out and we settled back to enjoy the show.

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A review of The Vast of Night as taken by a reader on IMDb:

“The Vast of Night is a classic tale that stays true to what makes the subgenre so appealing, while innovating and delivering fresh and interesting tactics to keep your eyes glued to the screen.

From the moment the film introduces us to one of our protagonists, we are greeted to an amazing long-take tracking shot that would make Iñárritu (ala Birdman) jealous. These beautiful tracking shots persist throughout the film, including one where we are quickly transported through the quiet small town setting seamlessly into the busy action of the high-school basketball game. These shots are also complimented by long takes that have almost no obvious movement at all, save for maybe a methodical zoom towards the character as they deliver a captivating monologue. In fact, there are moments where there are no visuals at all but simply a black screen allowing us to focus entirely on what is being told.

Dialogue and performances are also a highlight. The slick and smooth conversation starts immediately as we are introduced to our characters, helping transport us easily into the 1950s. This is assisted by the spectacular performances that never let up. Whether it be a tense monologue, fast-paced banter, or fervent arguing, every emotion feels real.

As for screenplay, the film plays out in real-time which let’s us hang on every lasting feeling of mystery and suspense. The Vast of Night masterfully balances both hiding and teasing us with aspects of a reveal that do enough to terrify and excite, leading up to a simply beautiful payoff that feels as rewarding as it is earned.”

Some enjoyed it more than others. It definitely had a more creative and artistic filming style that lent to a Alfred Hitchcock or Twilight Zone vibe. The suspense was built through interesting camera angles and movie soundtrack. I loved it and found the movie charming and engaging, but some of my kids found it lacking in special effects and action scenes. Regardless of the mixed reviews, we all enjoyed a night out of the house after months in lockdown!

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Finding Dory!


After a  L-O-N-G  13 year wait

the day had finally arrived.

Nemo, Dory, and all our fishy friends were back on the big screen!

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Finding Nemo was THE most watched movie of my children’s childhood. Rusty in particular was enthralled with this Disney gem. When it first arrived in theatres my babies were 2, 3, and 5 years old.

Crazy, right?!

We saw it on the big screen and then when it came out on DVD we watched it about 100,000 more times

And with that sort of fan following devotion you can just imagine the glee and anticipation in our home in the months leading up to its sequel. We heard about the coming of Finding Dory a year ago and have been counting down the days until it hit the big screen ever since.

We knew we couldn’t wait a day longer than opening day and planned to see it on its release date. It was funning seeing my 18, 16, and 14 year old as excited about seeing Finding Dory as their 5, 3, and 2 year old selves were about seeing Finding Nemo 13 years ago.

We decided to make it extra special and go see it at the drive in movie theatre. So after a day of strawberry picking, graduation parties and picking up a few extra little people we drove over to Dependable Drive-in.

We arrived two hours before the movie began, anticipating big crowds with it being opening night for a much anticipated Disney sequel. We were right and our decision to arrive extra early was a good call. We were able to get a spot near the front with a clear view of the screen.

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With us we had Tyler’s biological brother, Sean,  as well as two little friends we were watching for the weekend….

The result was loud, noisy, chaos. 🙂

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The blessing was that we were at a drive in movie theatre where running and yelling and playing is not only expected but encouraged. Around us we were surrounded by other families with children who were running and playing while waiting for the sun to sink low enough in the sky for the movie to begin.

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We packed frisbees and footballs to play with in the grass and cards and board games to keep everyone entertained from 7:00 pm until 9:05 pm.

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Tyler and Sean loved their time together. They played football for two hours and were sadly disappointed when the movie began and they had to quit. Tyler’s siblings are very much like him. They all are very physical and athletic and are happiest when they can be running and rough housing. I was grateful Tyler was able to get that time with Sean. They don’t get together with their siblings as often as we’d like, so when we can get them together we work hard to make it happen.

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But, that is not to say it is easy. It is actually extremely challenging. Both boys have a shared history of trauma and abuse and when they get together there is a regression into those old roles and behaviors. Thier play gets extremely physical and needs to be guided and directed because it is almost as though they don’t know how to play in a learned, healthy way.

The result: a very tired Momma and Daddy by the end of the weekend.

We also had two of the three little ones we have been helping with for the past 6 months. These are the kids who lost their Mom and Grandma in the last 6 months. They have become like unofficial foster children to us as we have stepped in and helped care for them in the midst of a lot of turmoil in their lives. They are leaving next week to move to Kentucky with their father. It is with heavy, hurting, worried hearts that we say good-bye to these sweets souls. This was their last weekend with us and with that knowledge came some hard emotions.

As positive as this weekend was for the children, it left Toby and I feeling drained by the end of it. It is hard seeing the hurt and brokenness that comes from trauma and knowing you can’t “fix” it no matter how much you would give to heal their hearts and their hurts… *sigh*

So we did what we could…all that we could…and that was to give of our time and hearts and home and try to make this weekend a gift and a respite from the hard stuff in their lives.

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As the sun began to fall below the tree line everyone began to get settled, choosing their movie viewing spot for the night. Some sat in the van, others laid down on blankets, while the rest moved their camping chairs to the front of the van.

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Snacks were handed out. Special “Finding Dory” gummy candies were the treat of the evening.  🙂

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Then the national anthem began to play and the movie began.

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It was delightful! I was so afraid that after 13 years of loving Finding Nemo that Finding Dory would be a letdown, but it wasn’t at all. With the same charming main characters and the addition of some new favorites this movie did not disappoint. I found myself grinning ear to ear as I listened to my big 14 year old boy laugh his man’s laugh with the same delight that he did when he was a toddler.

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The big kids “Disney Bounding” with their outfits. Can you guess who they represent? Rusty is Marlin, Gracie is Nemo, and Molly is Dory.


The movie ended at 11:00 and then the second feature began: “The Jungle Book.”


This movie did not hold the interest of the youngest five kids as well as the first movie did and I found myself chasing preschoolers, soothing hurts, and breaking up pick-up football games rather than watching the movie so at 12:20 am we finally threw in the towel, loaded up kiddos, and left to tuck everyone in bed.

Goodnight Dory.

Goodnight Nemo.

Goodnight Fishies, everywhere!