Whitworth University had its first drive-in movie in MacKay parking lot last Friday night. At 6:45 p.m. the parking lot was open to students and the first film began at 7:30 p.m. Even though drive-in movies have been a form of entertainment since 1928, people still enjoy spending a night with friends, family or a significant other at a drive-in, as Whitworth witnessed on Friday. The evening was perfect for the drive-in as the early fall night was without wind or rain. A large screen was set up in the parking lot, stereo speakers were hooked up and there were many parking spots for cars. For $5, a car could come into the parking lot and stay for the two films being featured, Finding Nemo and The Dark Knight. To round out the overall drive-in experience, Students for Education Reform, a new club at Whitworth, sold concessions for the first film and 30 minutes into the second film.
Sarah Whittemore, a senior and the off-campus senator, was in charge of putting on the Whitworth drive-in movie.
“The off-campus representative, Patrick Yoho, actually came up with it,” Whittemore said. “I was kind of dubious that it would be a fruitful idea to pursue, but once I looked into it, it seemed like it could be a plausible and great idea.”
Logistical issues arose before the event. The owner of the parking lot by the northeast corner of Hawthorne and Newport, where the drive-in was originally planned to be shown, was concerned about liability issues and decided not to provide the designated parking lot. As a result, the drive-in movie had to be moved from the northeast corner of Hawthorne and Newport to the MacKay parking lot. Many people stepped in to help lend support and offer their assistance. Emails and changes to Facebook were made in order to inform students of the change.
“Everyone at Whitworth is so willing to help,” Whittemore said in regard to the event location change. “I am exceedingly grateful for the relational aspect of Whitworth.”
The last-minute change in location did not hinder the arrival of students attending the event. By the time the first movie began at 7:30 p.m., there were three rows of parking spots lined up with cars to watch the movies. Students crawled on top of their cars to get a good seat, others stayed inside the cozy interior of their cars and still others filled truck beds with blankets, pillows and even mattresses to enjoy the movie.
“Patrick and I took surveys of students on campus before the freshman showed up,” Whittemore said. “We had a list of popular Disney movies and action movies, and the top picks were Finding Nemo and The Dark Knight.”
Although the two selected films caused the event to be several hours long, students were pleased with the selection and the overall experience.
“It was excellent,” senior Karen Johnson said. “The movies were very different but of quality. It was fun to see everyone sitting on the top of their cars.”
Throughout the night, the movies had great visual and sound quality, making it easy to watch and listen to the film, while enjoying the company of friends.
“I like watching movies and this is a fun, great and inexpensive way to watch a movie with friends,” sophomore Brooke Fowler said. “I think it’s a great idea and should be done more often.”
By Kelli Raines