This may come as a surprise to many, but drive-in movie theatres still exist even in 2016.

However, they can be difficult to find. There are none in Texarkana following the closure of the Joy Twin Drive-In back in the early nineties.

I am quite familiar with the Joy, having worked at the Drive-In and the companion Joy Cinema City Indoor Theatre back in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It was the place to be, -- especially on weekends.

The drive-in was a very special place. It was where you could load up a carload of family or friends and get a blanket and watch a movie under the stars on a giant screen. It was cheap entertainment. And where else could you buy your concessions, spread out a blanket, relax, and watch a good flick?

Back in its heyday, the Joy Twin would be filled to capacity with cars adjacent to each other in the fields, with a comedy playing on one screen while a James Bond movie might be on the other screen. Of course, everyone remembers the intermission videos of the dancing hot dogs and Cokes.

Lots of memories.

Vintage Movie marguee in front of blue sky
Michael Flippo, ThinkStock

I recall the first time I went there with my Dad. He took me to watch Bonnie & Clyde. After that I was hooked. The other memories are of when I worked there. Those long lines of customers who filed in for their snacks between features. I cannot tell you how many hot dogs I made in the almost five years that I worked there, but it would be in the thousands. I was deemed the Hot Dog King at the time because I always seemed to get multiple orders for them.

Another thing I remember was that other employees and I headed out often to the drive-in field with our snacks after work to enjoy a free movie on a blanket. Those were such great times.

Back in the drive-in era there were thousands of drive-ins in business across the country. Now it's down to just hundreds. There is however, one within driving distance of Texarkana.

It's the Sky Vue Drive-In Movie Theatre in Tyler, Texas about 80 miles from here. If you want to find out more about them check out their website or their facebook page.

Next time I am in Tyler, I do believe I will take my kiddos to the drive-in. Besides, it will give me a chance to once again tell them the stories of long ago when I used to have the most fun job on the planet.

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