Spud Drive-in Movie Time!
Okay, so I have never actually been to a movie at the Spud Drive-in, at least not that I can remember. Seeing as how it’s just over Teton Pass from Wilson, WY where my childhood best friend lived, it’s possible that I joined her family once when I was sporting Keds in elementary school.
This theatre is a good ol’ American Idahoan landmark. When I drove by on Highway 33, it began to make sense why.
The Spud is open Fridays and Saturdays. My brother, a local in Victor, Idaho, claims that the consessions are part of the whole experience. “You have to get a Gladys burger,” he told me.
He and his wife retold the story of family night, when they piled in the car with their kids, Grandpa and Grandma, and all went to the movie for just $14! Woo-hoo! My sister-in-law recollected that it wasn’t the best viewing experience from the back. There were so many heads to dodge to see the screen.
Located in Driggs, Idaho, it feels like a “middle of nowhere” kind of place. It’s not too much different from the Music on Main event every Thursday in Victor during the summer. My brother described when Anders Osbourne visited this past summer.
These musicians come in from far away, and driving into town think ‘Where the he*! am I?!’ with the population of about 800. Later in the evening, a couple of thousand fans roll in from surrounding towns to fill up the lawn.
It’s a sweet sight. I attended one of these music events a year or two ago.
The drive-in pops out from the landscape in a similar way. The Spud was built by Ace Wood and officially opened on July 3rd, 1953. According to the website:
It was a state-of-the-art facility back then, using mono-speakers that hung in the windows to broadcast the audio and twin carbon ark real to real projectors. Today, the audio is transmitted through FM stereo and each car can tune in with great sound quality. Some things have been updated at the drive-in, but the spirit remains the same.
The menu brings about a nostalgia of the days when milkshakes, popcorn, and greasy deep fried foods seemed okay for my digestive tract. It reminds me of the innocence of a fun night at the movies with friends and family. I imagine the added bonus of star gazing while previews finish up, or if the movie is slow.
I say potato, you say potaaaaaaato.
Meredith J. Potter lives in Boulder, Colorado. She enjoys biking, yoga, art, hiking, and exploring her environment. She supports local agriculture, as well as people’s timing and choices in moving toward a healthier life for the planet. Her background in education and yoga inform her current perspectives and lifestyle.