Arizona’s boundless black dessert sky makes for an ideal drive-in movie setting—a business dependent on open spaces and dark nights. In the past, when Americans were moving west in station wagons, the state was home to more than fifty theaters with names like “The Cactus” and “The Golden Valley Drive-in.” Today, only the West Wind Glendale 9 remains in operation, but Dave Meyers has a plan to begin reviving the drive-in tradition in Arizona.Read More
April Twenty-Second marks the 49th annual celebration of Earth Day, so it’s a good time to address an obvious contradiction in my decision to move into a camper. I’m giving up the comforts of a stationary house because I want to wake up in a camp spot shaded by fir trees still fresh with morning dew and see a lake, or a mountain, or a family of deer from my window and then move to another beautiful camp spot with a different beautiful natural view. I value my time in nature more than I value square footage—aren’t I such a progressive Earth lover. But my adventure is dependent on a gas guzzling, 6,000 pound, V6 engine truck. The further I roam, the more crap I’m spitting into the atmosphere and the more fossil fuels I’m sucking from the earth. In an attempt to offset the damage I will be doing to our planet, I’m committing myself to think more deeply about the waste I’m producing.Read More
My relationship status with Honeybear the camper has moved from “head over heels in love, through thick and thin, “Here’s looking at you, Kid’” to “it’s complicated.”
For the last month and a half, I’ve spent almost all my free hours working on Honeybear. I’ve worked by lantern light after my day job, I’ve put in 10 hours days during my time off, I’ve listened to entire podcast seasons fixing problems, and I’ve been to the hardware store more times than I can count…Read More
The Project Rules:
I dreamed up this project one night in the midst of a depressed sleeplessness, so the only rules are the ones I set for myself. This what I’ve settled on.
Rule 1: If a state has a drive-in, I’ll go. So, Wyoming—one drive-in—I’m going. That’s it, the only rule.Read More
In my last post, “How I Turned a Camper Disaster into a Positive,” I described repairs made to Honeybear after discovering a water leak. At the end of those repairs, the camper was structurally sound, but not livable. Plywood stood for a floor, raw walls displayed my inability to cut a straight line, and the bed was a sketch on the back of an IKEA receipt. Today, the camper needs a few minor adjustments, but it looks a whole lot better than it did a week ago.Read More
I refused to believe them. I was not going to completely rebuild the damn camper; it survived for thirty-five years, now I just needed it to last one more. That weekend, I decided to replace the section of the wall, re-caulk around the window, and call it a day. I’d finish the whole project in time to see Captain Marvel at the drive-in.Read More
After attending an open-air movie screening, Abhijit Shah came up with a crazy idea—open a drive-in movie theater in his hometown, Bangalore, India. He shared his idea with a few friends and soon, “Under the Stars Cinema” (UTS) was born.Read More
Daylight was already sinking down the main screen when I arrived at the Ocala Drive-in. Owner John Watzke had agreed to meet for an interview but was running late, leaving me time to explore. Walking around a drive-in during the day feels like being backstage at a theater; you have to be “in” to get invited.
Like many twenty-six-year-olds, Chip Sawyer, a financial advisor for Publix Supermarkets with a master’s degree in Business Administration, has a side hustle—he owns two of Florida’s seven remaining drive-in movie theatres. The soft-spoken, curly-haired Sawyer inherited the Silver Moon and Joy-Lan Drive-ins after his grandfather’s death in 2017. I met him in his office behind the Silver Moon’s original, 1948 screen.Read More
Stars and Screens is about drive-ins and the journey in-between; it’s a classic American road trip story. I’m expecting the trip to take more than a year, to cross just about every state in the Lower 48 (sorry Delaware—you’re out of the way and you have no drive-ins), and to be in near constant motion. So, you wouldn’t be crazy to wonder why I’m undertaking this adventure with only a tiny, thirty-five-year-old camper for shelter?Read More