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Pat Shingleton: "Ahhh-eee-ahhh-eee,eee,eee,ahhh!"

1 year 10 months 4 weeks ago Tuesday, June 23 2020 Jun 23, 2020 June 23, 2020 9:00 AM June 23, 2020 in Pat Shingleton Column
By: Pat Shingleton:

Due to the "virus" and the closing of traditional movie theaters, the outdoor venues are having a resurgence. Following Katrina and Baton Rouge absorbing many New Orleans residents, I had the pleasure of getting to know the late T.G. “Teddy” Solomon. Today marks the anniversary of the first drive-in theater, built in Camden, N.J., in 1937. Teddy built the first drive-in theater in McComb, MS and advanced the "Drive-Ins" to many locations around the country. He told me that the majority of income did not come from ticket sales but concessions. In Ellwood City, PA, we enjoyed Spotlight 88, located on Route 88 between New Brighton and Ellwood City, Pa. Today the theaters have a transmitting device that enables one to tune into a specific radio station or frequency to receive the movie's audio. Back then, it was a speaker attached to a post that you lifted and hung on the window. Dad couldn't afford refreshments from the designated refreshment stand so mom would prepare two shopping bags of buttered popcorn and thermoses of Kool-Aid. The feature that particular night starred Johnny Weissmuller as Tarzan. Early evening rain increased to thunderstorms. Surprisingly, the movie continued and with static from the window speaker, my Dad clicked on the wipers as we watched Tarzan between the flashes of lightning. Just as Tarzan was swinging from vine to vine including his incredible yell..."Ah, eeee, ahhhh, eee eee eee ah..." – then it happened. Suddenly, Tarzan swung through the jungle and off the screen! The movie was over...The storm toppled the screen! My father peeled out of the parking lot, homeward bound. The next morning, my brother Denis, discovered the audio speaker still attached to the window of the station wagon.

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