The Most Fun Job On the Planet — The Drive-in Movie Theatre
This may come as a surprise to many, but drive-in movie theatres still exist even in 2016.
However, they can be difficult to find. There are none in Texarkana following the closure of the Joy Twin Drive-In back in the early nineties.
I am quite familiar with the Joy, having worked at the Drive-In and the companion Joy Cinema City Indoor Theatre back in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It was the place to be, -- especially on weekends.
The drive-in was a very special place. It was where you could load up a carload of family or friends and get a blanket and watch a movie under the stars on a giant screen. It was cheap entertainment. And where else could you buy your concessions, spread out a blanket, relax, and watch a good flick?
Back in its heyday, the Joy Twin would be filled to capacity with cars adjacent to each other in the fields, with a comedy playing on one screen while a James Bond movie might be on the other screen. Of course, everyone remembers the intermission videos of the dancing hot dogs and Cokes.
Lots of memories.
I recall the first time I went there with my Dad. He took me to watch Bonnie & Clyde. After that I was hooked. The other memories are of when I worked there. Those long lines of customers who filed in for their snacks between features. I cannot tell you how many hot dogs I made in the almost five years that I worked there, but it would be in the thousands. I was deemed the Hot Dog King at the time because I always seemed to get multiple orders for them.
Another thing I remember was that other employees and I headed out often to the drive-in field with our snacks after work to enjoy a free movie on a blanket. Those were such great times.
Back in the drive-in era there were thousands of drive-ins in business across the country. Now it's down to just hundreds. There is however, one within driving distance of Texarkana.
Next time I am in Tyler, I do believe I will take my kiddos to the drive-in. Besides, it will give me a chance to once again tell them the stories of long ago when I used to have the most fun job on the planet.