PITTSBURGH MADE: Drive-In Madness (1987)

At one point, there were double-digit drive-ins in the greater Pittsburgh area. Today, we’re lucky to still have The Comet, The Brownsville Drive-In, The RiversidDrive-InIn Theatre and, as always, The Dependable, now playing first-run movies and friendly to families after decades of being literally a pit of lust and sin. Sigh.

In 1987, Tom Ferrante (who also worked on the music for Raiders of the Living Dead) directed and wrote this film and not only was he able to get James Karen to narrate it, he got a who’s who of horror at the time, everyone from Bobbie Breese and Linnea Quigley to Forest J. Ackerman, George Romero, John Russo, Tom Savini, Russell Streiner and Sam Sherman all talking about the days of drive-ins as well as their horror careers, intercut with trailers for Terror Is a ManThe Blood DrinkersTheatre of DeathBrides of BloodGirls for Rent and clips for Nurse SherriBlazing StewardressesNight of the Living DeadDon’t Open the Window, The Green Slime, Satan’s Sadists, Ghoulies, The Human Duplicators, Horror of the Blood MonstersAssignment TerrorDracula vs. FrankensteinPsychos In Love and From Beyond.

There’s a moment where you get to hear Russo and Romero discuss There’s Always Vanilla, which if you’re a Pittsburgh movie fan is worth watching this whole thing for.

Once, I was looking for a drive-in in White Oak that had a swimming pool and you could swim under the screen and pick what movie you wanted to watch, as a different one was shown on each side. An older gentleman noticed me wandering and asked what I was looking for. When I told him, he laughed and said, “You’re standing on it. This parking lot is where it used to be.”

The past is gone and further back in the rear view every day. All we can do is try to capture it today, write about it and keep those warm memories. As a wise man has said — and will say — many times, “The drive-in will never die.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.