De­signed for drive-in

The Advertiser - Motoring - - News - STU­ART MARTIN

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.

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