Moonlight, mountains and a big screen

October 8, 2015

Could there be anything more exciting as a seven year old? Dressed in pyjamas, we arrived at the Horsham Mota-Vu Drive-in (in a 1976 Valiant, brown) to watch Return of the Jedi on the big screen. It was spring 1983, and my brothers and I joined about a million other kids on the monkey bars to play under the big screen until it was dark enough for the film to start. 


Thankfully, the next generation of kids won't miss their opportunity to experience the magic, with Dunkeld Primary School staging a Country Drive-in Movie on 2 October.


It's set to feature all the hallmarks of the quinessential Drive-in Theatre experience, with just a little extra: food, happy hour at the Cricket Club, a silent auction and fun kids activities from 5.30pm until the sun sets, followed by a family movie on the big screen. As an added bonus, the stunning Southern Grampians will feature as a backdrop. 


The feature film is Dreamworks' animation 'The Croods', which will offer a family comedy both the young and not so young will enjoy. And when the little ones become sleepy, they can snuggle down with their blankets and teddy bears in the backseat.  


It's hard to understand why they aren't still around, right?

Drive-ins were recently ranked as one of the most recognisable icons of the 20th Century, and yet today there are just a handful still operating on a regular basis. It's an amazing story of meteoric rise, followed by a sharp decline in the 1970s. 


Drive-ins Downunder says an advertisement appeared in the Melbourne Sun on February 18 1954 that read 'Opening tonight at 6:30 Australia's first drive-in theater'. The Skyline, in Burwood, became the first of more than 330 drive-ins built across the country. 


Well, DD is on a mission to discover this lost heritage. We'd love to hear your first memories of visting a Drive-in Theatre. Even better, we'd love for you to share your pictures. Send through your stories to or post your stories on our Facebook page. 


Tickets will be on sale for the Dunkeld Country Drive-in soon - all the details will be available through Discover Dunkeld. 




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