Before I start this post let me begin by saying that I currently live in New Jersey. New Jersey is home of the very first drive-in movie theatre. The very first one opened on June 6, 1933 on Crescent Boulevard in Camden, NJ. Some of you may remember me briefly mentioning Camden in my previous posts as it is the new home to WebiMax, my current place of employment.
New Jersey is also one of the few states where drive in movie theatres still exist. Presently, there is only one in the state located in Vineland, NJ called the Delsea Drive In. The Delsea Drive In is about a half hour away from both Larry and I. Vineland is about the halfway point between us (He lives in Quinton and I live in Washington Township). So it’s not too far for either one of us. Going to the Drive-In is something fun and different that people like to do in the spring and summer once the weather warms up a bit (it closes in the winter for obvious reasons).
My boyfriend and his family especially love to go to the Drive-In. When we first started dating back in September he used to tell me about it a lot. I always wanted to go with him, but I couldn’t. I mean, I guess technically I could of, but it never would have been very enjoyable for me. Unlike most traditional movie theatres, the Drive In isn’t very accessible for the deaf and hard of hearing. They do not offer any kind of captioning devices like caption glasses or the little cup holder things. On occasion, they may play movies with the subtitles shown on the screen, but this is pretty rare. I am not sure if they do all of this by choice or because of the nature of the drive in prevents them from offering the devices.
To state it more simply, prior to getting my cochlear implant, I never would have been able to really hear the movies at the Drive-In. Rather than wasting my time and money going to movies I knew I wouldn’t be able to hear, I skipped out on going to the Drive In all of last year. If Larry and I wanted to see a movie we’d either watch one at home with the subtitles on or we’d go to a traditional movie theatre where I could wear the caption glasses.
When I decided to go through with getting my cochlear implant, going to the drive in was one of the first things on top of my list of things I wanted to do that I couldn’t do before. I just had to wait for the drive in to actually open and for Larry to be home to go with me (remember — Larry is a truck driver. He’s not exactly home that much. This should be changing soon though, thankfully. :)).
This weekend was the first weekend Larry was home in 4 weeks. It was a nice night where it finally wasn’t raining, and with my parents being very sick, I couldn’t have him over my house. It was the perfect night for a trip to the drive in. So we went and gave it a try.
One ticket at the drive in gets you into a double feature of your choice. They have two different screens, but you are not allowed to switch between them. Last night they were playing San Andreas and Insidious 3 on screen one and Poltergeist and Spy on screen two. We met up with Larry’s dad who also went to the drive in and we decided to choose screen 1 — San Andreas and Insidious 3.
This is what one of the screens looks like. Image Credits: TripAdvisor.com
We got to the drive in at I’d say around 6:30ish. Larry and I spent a bit of time just talking to his dad and catching up a bit. I haven’t seen his dad since Disney so it was nice to talk for a bit. Larry and I got something to eat for dinner at the snack stand too. At about 8:30 we got our popcorn, went to the car, set up the radio, and set out our chairs and watched the first movie — San Andreas.
The inside of the snack bar. Image Credits: NJ Star Ledger
I’ll admit that I was a little nervous at first. At the drive-in you get the sound from your car radio (or in our case we bought a radio and put it on top of the car). I haven’t had trouble with hearing radios since getting my cochlear really. I mean, I listen to K-LOVE at work on pretty much a daily basis. This was never possible for me prior to getting my cochlear. But I knew the sound quality would still probably be a bit different than it was at a traditional movie theatre.
I really had no problem at all with it though. I enjoyed it very much. Watching the movies late at night under a full starry sky was a nice experience. And I heard every single word. I can tell you a brief summary of what the movie was about without having to get something off of Google: A terrible earthquake erupts in San Francisco and destroys the city. There is a guy, played by The Rock, who works as a rescue pilot and he needs to try to find his daughter and rescue her. He lost his other daughter years ago in a drowning accident and is still very much upset and shaken by it. Now, he is determined not to lose the other daughter. The fact that I can give people a summary of it like that is an amazing accomplishment in itself. I wouldn’t have been able to do that after seeing most movies in the past prior to getting my cochlear.
I really enjoyed Insidious 3 as well. Larry’s dad and I are both big fans of horror movies. Larry — not so much, but I’m pretty sure even he enjoyed that. The movie was kind of your typical horror movie where the characters try to contact the dead and it goes wrong and evil spirits/demons end up possessing one or more of the characters and trying to kill them. I have a bit of sick sense of humor sometimes and find horror movies to be kind of funny. Fortunately, my boyfriend and his dad can see things that way, too. There were many times during Insidious 3 that left room for a bit of comedy/making fun of parts of the movie or people in the movie. I enjoyed this just as much as I enjoyed the movie, to be honest. The second movie played until the wee hours of the morning. Naturally, it got dark outside. It wasn’t always that easy to really see Larry or his dad — I mean, yeah I could see them, but in the past I would’ve said I couldn’t see them well enough to read their lips. Prior to getting my cochlear this would have been a major problem because, as I stated in one of my previous posts, without being able to read lips I wouldn’t have been able to hear. That was not at all a problem last night. I didn’t even have to take my eyes off the screen to look at them at all. I could still hear both them and the movie well enough to add commentary and join them in poking fun at some scenes/characters without having to look at them or lipread.
I feel like going to the drive in was another small victory for me and my cochlear implant. It wasn’t exactly what I expected it to be — it was BETTER. I definitely think we’ll be going back a few more times this summer. This is a whole new experience for me only made possible by both the grace of god and my new bionic ear. I’m excited to see what other new opportunities or experiences I can unlock this summer with the help of my cochlear implant. One thing I know is certain: it’s going to be a great first summer for Larry and I.