It's practically law that you have to truck out the word "nostalgia" when discussing drive-in theaters. So we just did, in the very first sentence, and now that is out of the way.
But we all feel nostalgic about phenomenon that arose in the 1950s and '60s, even if our grandparents or parents were the main patrons (and we ourselves have rarely experienced one). There's something wonderfully evocative about night air, a long sunset, and sitting in a car spilling popcorn on your seat while watching a screen in the distance.
The Vineland Drive-In Theater, LA County's only drive-in, understands that nostalgia, for sure -- there is that quintessential '50s-era vibe to the City of Industry spot -- but it also gets that film is a forward-looking business.
With that in mind, the Vineland is going into the summer of 2013 with a major upgrade: digital projectors.
The first movie to make its digital debut at the alfresco film-a-rama will be "Man of Steel" on Friday, June 14.
Now, honestly, don't go and long for a day in the past when film could look a bit washed out and edge-bleary on a drive-in screen. Nostalgia is fine when it comes to snack bars, rocking your pajamas in the backseat, and the overall experience, but we prefer our movies crisper, thank you very much.
Call the best of the past and tomorrow: You get all of that old-fashioned feel from a drive-in -- yep, the Vineland's films start at dusk, seven nights a week -- but you get to enjoy flicks with a sharper end result.
The Vineland, by the by, has been around for 58 years. 1955, please meet 2013. Hope you two hit it off (we predict you will).