Designed for drive-in
TIME spent in a new Jaguar XFR was the latest example in a line of cars that deserve the return of seeing movies at the drive-in.
The Bowers & Wilkins sound system in the muscular British sedan competes with an aurally satisfying supercharged V8 quite well, making redundant any form of massaging seats by way of a subwoofer.
The demise of the drivein as a mainstream option for watching new-release films gets more disappointing every year, as car makers produce sound systems of t h e q u a l i t y a n d v o l u me worthy of a home cinema.
I have vivid memories of driving an Audi S8 with little pop-up Bang & Olufsen tweeter speakers – two of more than a dozen situated around the cabin ready to belt out noise of great quality and considerable volume, enough to drown out the doof-doof brigade.
Lexus has Mark Levinson systems that - should you want to replicate in your home – probably would top $20,000 and Subaru has its tunes supplied in its top-end models by McIntosh, another brand that would require a similar budget to match in a home-cinema realm.
Most of the top marques engage in collaborative efforts with sound system manufacturers, to the extent that the boot and door cavities are designed with sound reproduction in mind. Team that with better in-cabin storage, cup holders and chilled glove boxes and you have a great drive-in recipe.
At least twice a day I drive past the old drive-in at O’Halloran Hill, now flanked by a golf driving range and the TAFE.
The screen remains but the rest of it seems all but gone.
A housing estate dwells in place of the drive-in on Oaklands Rd and the big-screen venue on Marion Rd now is a light-industrial facility.
In 2002, the Port Elliot drive-in fell to a housing estate after more than 40 years, as did the big screen at Panorama opposite Centennial Park cemetery.
All prompt myriad memories, including on-the-run speaker repairs, and the advent of the ‘‘hi-tech’’ car radio link.
Throwing deckchairs, an esky and a few mates in the boot for a trip to the drive- in always was an event. The steamy window side of the drive-in is best left unexplored at this point, but it was also a good family night out, with the latter featuring a playground for the restless rug rats.
Wallis Cinemas has Adelaide’s last drive-in operating at Gepps Cross - sadly I’m on the wrong side of town for that one but I might just have to make a pilgrimage . . . when I get another fourwheeled sound system.
CURTAIN DOWN: The final screening at Murray Bridge drive-in in 2005.