Saturday, November 19, 2011

Nostalgia Photographed

Families huddle together for warmth in the bed of pick-up trucks for the latest Adam Sandler comic romp. Couples share popcorn and snuggle under blankets inside parked SUVs. Multiple projectors whirl and spin films from the top floor of the ramshackle concession stand. Bright projections of Ben Stiller close-ups light up the darkened evening sky. I sneak around, trying not to disturb the scene as I photograph it quietly. Welcome to West Wind drive-in, nestled between Fiesta Rancho and the North Las Vegas airport. Once numbering over 4000, the drive-in movie theater stubbornly clings to existence like that last bit of ice in a soda cup. The West Wind drive-in, opened in 1966, is one of an estimated 370 motor movie palaces left in the U.S. If you find yourself photographing this nostalgic scene, one word of advice: Don't forget your tripod.

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