Monday, 28 May 2007

Bass Hill Drive-In



Have you ever been to a Drive-In theatre? Along with ten-pin bowling alleys and courtyard motels, they were an iconic part of 1950s and 60s culture, imported from the US.

I used to love going when I was a kid. Usually there would be a small playground under the screen where kids could play. Many would arrive dressed in their pyjamas, so if they went to sleep in the car they could get put straight into bed when the family got home.

The people who live here must feel like they are there every night! Bass hill is a twin screen theatre, so there is another screen, showing a different movie at the other end of the lot. You just park your car in the direction of the movie you want to see. It was closed when I went past, but here's some great pics.

You can check here to see what' s showing tonight.

To read all about Australian drive-ins, have a look at this website, starting with Bass Hill, one of only two left open in Sydney. And here's a doco, American Drive-In Movie Memories.

And here's one on the history of the drive-in theatre.

15 comments:

  1. I remember drive-ins. Funny though even with the decline in drive ins there is no drop in the birth rate....

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  2. Fun!
    Never been to one!

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  3. What a nice photo. The screen looks like it is substantial. The ones here were made with sheets of plywood.

    I used to sell popcorn at a drivein when I was a young boy. I walked down the rows and up to the cars and offered to sell popcorn.

    I can tell you I have seen some sights I never forgot. I have also been paid a dollar not to come back again.

    The theatre owner liked my work and paid me five cents for each bag of popcorn I sold.

    I have good news:

    The three baby robins are on their way to Meet the World. I miss them already. It was quite an emotional experience for me.
    Brookville Daily Photo

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  4. Must be fun...I've never been to any drive-ins but been to sport public viewing with that GIANT screen...wonder what feels like..would love to try one day

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  5. We don't have drive-in like this in France, well at least not near Grenoble. For me it's so American, and so 50's. I always imagine young rock'n'roll people going to the drive-in in their Cadillac... it's so cliché I know! But I'd love to see a movie in this kind of drive-in!

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  6. Disgraceful...Town Planners of the World Unite against public manifestations of enjoyment ;-)

    It is a bit drastic, though. You must admit.

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  7. Good news! My son saw this photo and has DEMANDED we go to the drive in this weekend. Pirates of the caribbean 3 is showing. Thanks goodness there is this one (and another) left in Sydney!

    I think I owe it to him that he experience the drive-in!

    Wonderful story as ever, Abe.

    lol@chuckeroon.

    bleeding orage: yes, they ARE fun.

    beetle: I hope you get to one, and hope they don't all disappear. Nathalie too!

    jd: weeeeelll, here the TEENAGE birth rate is much lower than it was ;-)

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  8. I go to the Heddon Greta Drive-in Near Newcastle (sorta) Why dont you check out what there showing?
    there is their website.
    www.drive-in.com.au

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  9. Bass Hill drive in will be having their last ever screening night on Wednesday 31st October 2007. The sight is slated for development of 104 "affordable" housing units for the Sydney area. I'm sure this is a much better use for the land, NOT.
    Tuesday night is their budget night ($9 entry) and wednesday is just $14 - see it before it's gone!

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  10. When I read that Bass Hill Drive-in was closing down, I sent some letters to the major Sydney papers and radio stations and as a result they interviewed me in the SMH and National Nine News last weekend! I also started up an ON-LINE PETITION to try and SAVE THE DRIVE-IN. It would be great if you could sign it and pass it on. http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/save-bass-hill-drive-in.html

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  11. Well it is too late now, you can't save as the drive in was not profitable to run. So it had to be closed, that is the way it is. If people are not going to support the drive ins they will disappear forever.

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  12. Hi
    You might be interested in the Facebook group
    Save BassHil Drive In
    http://sydneynearlydailyphot.blogspot.com/2007/05/bass-hill-drive-in.html

    and the petition
    http://www.gopetition.com.au/petitions/save-bass-hill-drive-in.html

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  14. I've been there hundreds of times my grandparents live right next to it, they live on the street that photo was taken.

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  15. all drive in theater should be heritage listed since they are not built as much these days like those huge, ugly, multiplex theaters that we have around today

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