Category Archives: TV Shows & Movies

Not afraid to admit I’ll miss the Bravermans

Parenthood is gone — and TV is worse for it.

The NBC show completed its six-year run last week with the typical Braverman tears, as our favorite family said goodbye for good.

I don’t know any other men who watched this show, but they should have.

It was far from the greatest show ever produced, but sometimes the best things in life are the things that just made you feel good.

But make no mistake, Parenthood was not easy watching. Too many things hit close to home, and there was a realness to many of the situations that opposes most of the thoughtless “reality” TV that’s produced today.

I looked forward to the show each week and made it one of my first choices on a packed DVR full of movies, sports, documentaries and other fun stuff I want to watch.

R.I.P. Parenthood. I’m not afraid to admit you will be missed.

Here’s how to have fun at Glendale’s drive-In

by Jason Stone

Once upon a time, it was called the “Passion Pit.”

The ultimate date destination, the drive-in movies became a cultural phenomenon in the 1950s and ’60s when teen-agers begged for a place free from parental authority.

What they really wanted was a place to make out. The movie on the screen — usually some low-budget Western — did not even matter.

Even today, tell somebody older than 40 that you are going to a drive-in movie, and they’ll ask, “They show movies at the drive-in now?”

The Glendale 9 Drive-In Theatre, owned by Century Theatres, is still drawing in big crowds each weekend, making it one of the best-kept secrets of the local movie world.

While the drive-in experience might be different for today’s generation, there’s still nothing like a night under the stars with a double-feature – yes, remember the days of two movies for one price?

To make your drive-in experience the best, here are five tips to maximize your experience:

TIP NO. 1: Get there early, early, early

Just like at the regular movies — you know, the ones with roofs — the big-attraction movies pack in the crowds, er, cars, at the drive-ins.

Even getting to the big parking lot a half-hour before the first features start can result in a big-time headache. Weekend traffic routinely backs up 55th Avenue and spills onto Bethany Home Road.

For some reason, Glendale Drive-In isn’t worried about getting people in too fast. Often times, two ticket-takers collect money for four car lines, making many people miss the beginning of their movies while waiting for the family in the Buick with the bumper sticker “My Son Is On the Honor Roll” figures out if they want to see Shrek or Scooby Doo.

You also want to get there early so you can get a good spot up in the front, just in case the Flintstones decide to show up in front of you and prop Pebbles up on Dino’s head.

(Didn’t they have DVD in the Stone Age?)

TIP NO. 2: Bring your own home-cooked food

There are two reasons to bring your own food to the drive-in, and neither of them is financial.

It’s always good to whip up a home-cooked meal and bring it on a picnic, so why not take it to the drive-in?

Plus, with your own food, you’ll be able to avoid going to the snack bar, something you’ll want to do at all costs.

One can imagine the Glendale Drive-In snack bar once acting as a haven for bored teens in the 1970s.

The only problem is, the second you walk into the place, it feels like the 1970s.

Prices are relatively low, but the menu is sparse, the service is slow and the floor is littered with feet marks from all the people who thought it was a good idea to walk barefoot across the concrete from their Toyota to the snack bar.

TIP NO. 3: Go Tuesdays instead

The drive-in is cheap family entertainment any time. You get two movies for $5.75 — the price of one matinee in a standard theater.

Plus, kids 11 and younger are free, meaning a family of four can see a pair of movies for dirt cheap.

It gets even better on Tuesdays, however, as all admission prices are lowered to $3.50.

It costs more than that to park at a Diamondbacks game. And Bank One Ballpark lots don’t come with two features.

TIP NO. 4: Crank up the car stereo

Fortunately for today’s drive-in enthusiasts, short-range frequency radio brings the movie’s sound to your car.

Yeah, I know it is not as quaint as the day when you latched the speaker to your side window, only to drive off with it still attached after the movie.

But it’s nice to have a little sound power when watching your movie.

Plus, if you forget Tip No. 1 and get stuck on the Long Island Expressway trying to get into the theater as your movie starts, you can hear the beginning of your movie, even if you can’t see it.

TIP NO. 5: Bring blanket and chair

Sure, we live in a desert, but that doesn’t mean a little chill can’t blow through the air by the second movie kicks in.

Those who base the temperature on 110 degrees when leaving the house will be sorry they didn’t take a blanket for the second movie.

After all, the second feature is usually some critically-trashed, run-its-course, straight-to-video-type showing.

When you’re snoring halfway through crud like Glitter, it’s nice to have a binky handy.

During the day, Glendale 6 Drive-In turns into a swap meet, giving West Valley consumers a chance to pick up some hot deals on turquoise jewelry and incense.

But the secret deal comes at night, when the big screen flashes on, the homemade tacos are dished out and you realize how glad you are that your wife made you clean the windshield at the last fill up.

Just be careful with that kissing, Mom and Dad: The kids are watching.

Published at • June 9, 2004