The Exorcist at the Drive-In

 ”The Power of Christ compels you!” ~ Father Merrin & Father Damien Karras, THE EXORCIST

I was lucky enough to experience many family drive-in nights as a kid back in the 70s.  Tracy and I would throw on our comfiest PJs, hop in the car with my parents and head off to the local drive-in (usually Ledgewood) to catch the latest flick on the big (really big) outdoor screen.

My two favorite things about drive-in night were:  #1.  the play area, where we’d play on swings, slides and the see-saw before the movie started (Dad had this thing about arriving really early to grab the perfect space, and to make sure the speaker wasn’t a dud), and #2.  intermission, a chance to spend dad’s hard earned cash on overpriced soda, popcorn, pepperoni pizza and ice cream. The movie was more of an afterthought for Tracy and me – drive-in night was about being our silly selves, making fun of the actors, and stuffing our faces with candy and greasy junk food.


I fondly recall the intermission ads, touting sparkling cold beverages, piping hot coffee, Slim Jims and what the announcer called “delicious chocolate-coated candy bars”, cigarettes and a variety of tasty treats (nutritious hot dogs, they bragged).  Goodies sure to clog up the arteries of every family member.

(ITALIAN LESSON:  she devil = diavolessa)

Seeing The Exorcist drive-in style remains a vivid memory for me.  I was flying solo in the back seat that night, mom and dad figured I’d fall asleep soon after the late show started.  Not me! I popped my curious eleven year old head up in between theirs and watched the entire gory enchilada!  I think it took a few nights (weeks!) to get that freaky image of Linda Blair’s famous head spin out of my head.  To me, The Exorcist is one of the best horror flicks ever, which I religiously (pun intended) watch at least once a year.  It continues to deliver the creeps for a day or two after, and I think that’s part of its charm.

linda blair 223x300 The Exorcist at the Drive In

Regan and Captain Howdy say get yer arse back to the home of MADNESS before their head’s spin!

10 Responses to “The Exorcist at the Drive-In”

  1. I could never watch horror movies! When my uncle was dating, my grandmother would make him take me along when he was taking a girl to the drive-in. So of course he would pick a horror flick, knowing I’d be on the floor board in the back seat, so they could make-out and I wouldn’t snitch! Just the sound of Bele Lugosi makes me cringe!

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  3. [...] my post “The Exorcist at the Drive In” I shared my fond memories of the drive-in movie theatre, and how I fondly remember those retro [...]

  4. Ken Ketterer says:

    We did have the greatest childhood, didn’t we? Good old Ledgewood Drive-Ins. The last movie I saw there was a double feature (of, course) of this Elvis classic and this “scare the shit out of ya” ..Horror flick . and of course, in my footie PJ’s, with my parents, Irish twin older brother, and 2 younger sisters. My Dad’s thing to do was to bitch about the finger prints and assorted smashed bugs on the windshield and clean them off during the movie… Good times! Good times!

  5. "Me" says:

    @ Ken Ketterer:
    Oh yes we did have good times – very good times. Lucky kids!
    "Me" recently posted..50-100% Chance of Bullsh*t!My Profile

  6. Irene Smith says:

    We had the Newark drive in down in the Ironbound section. I saw the Exorcist wth two girlfriends on Bloomfield Ave in Montclair. The theatre was so packed we had to sit separately from each other. Soooooooooo creeepy! Still creeepy! “Dimi, Dimi, why you do this to me Dimi?” Ooooooo! “your mother is in here with us” That always gets me.

  7. "Me" says:

    @ Irene :
    OMG — how did you know THAT is my favorite line? SCARY!!!
    "Me" recently posted..Sonny or Cher?My Profile

  8. :O A lot of information :O This is actually the mOst remarkable web-site myfriend :D

  9. Kathie P. says:

    I saw The Exorcist at the drive-in in Jersey City. I went with my “then” boyfriend Billy. He sat on the drivers’ side and me on the other. Hardly a word was spoken. I was 18 back then. I had to sleep with the lights on for at least 2 years after that. It was THE scariest movie I ever saw, to this day.

  10. "Me" says:

    @ Kathie, I totally agree – that movie STILL creeps me out! Oh, here’s another post about my drive-in theatre movie days ~
    "Me" recently posted..Everything Sucks NowMy Profile

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