What is Stars and Screens?
On the surface, Stars and Screens is a project intended to document the stories of America’s remaining drive-in movie theaters; to meet the people who keep this very American tradition alive. But it’s also a celebration of all things locals and a journey through the country’s small towns—places where the night sky is still dark enough to host a story told in light and shadows. These places, and the in-between spaces, are also a part of the project.
Steer past a drive-in ticket booth and you’ll find a pack of over-sugared children running between the rows. Their parents, lounging in folding chairs and wrapped in light blankets, might halfheartedly tell them to quiet down while a young couple stays within in the calm of their car. At intermission, the line to the concession stand might pour past the doors. In more than eighty years of drive-in of history, the scene hasn’t changed much.
Drive-ins survive as a symbol of an America before strip malls and big box stores. No two identical theaters exist, each possesses their own character reflecting the people who run them and the town they serve; they are a way in and a way back.
The journey is set to launch in June 2019. Until then, this blog will cover the planning and preparation for the trip, including a remodel of my 1984 Scotty trailer, route mapping, researching, and interviews of several Florida drive-ins. If you want to be a part of the adventure, subscribe to the blog updates and follow the project on Facebook and Instagram!