The Drive-In Pediater

Have you seen today’s Google Doodle? It will probably be gone if you’re reading this tomorrow or later… so I’ve embedded the little video that plays when you click on the ticket. Just a cute little 30-second clip commemorating the opening of the first drive-in theater.

Now, I’ve never been to a drive-in theater in my life, but the clip reminded me of an incident in my childhood that I thought would be fun to share.

When I was growing up my family didn’t go to the movies. We belonged to a church that had a rule against going to the movie theater, so we never went. When I was about five, though, there was a drive-in theater between our house the church, and sometimes on our way home from evening service, we would catch glimpses of a movie playing. Being curious little kids, we eagerly watched for that few seconds of film as we drove past.

Revival week came, along with a visiting preacher. And not just any preacher. No. This was one of the “generals” of our little denomination. He was very friendly and loved little children, and he stayed with us (the pastor’s family) during the revival. He offered for my sisters and me to ride in his car home from church the first evening. As we passed the theater, much to our delight a movie was playing. We were so happy to be able to share the experience of seeing the picture at the “drive-in pediater” with our visiting friend.

I’m sure he wasn’t nearly as impressed as we were, but he was greatly amused. Every night after that, for the rest of the revival, he eagerly joined us in watching for glimpses of the movie at the “drive-in pediater” on the way home.

Looking back, I remember that dear man fondly, and sincerely appreciate how he didn’t make us feel guilty or sinful for being so interested in something that was considered “wrong” by our church, but instead, recognized the innocence of children and chose to share our interest in something so fascinating.

Still… I wonder what it would be like to watch a movie from your car at a drive-in theater. Too bad there aren’t many around any more.


  • Farrah

    This is such a good lesson. I try to teach our son discernment. I don't believe most forms of entertainment are evil of themselves: movies, books, video games, music, theme parks, restaurants, etc. Rather, I believe we can enjoy all of them while teaching our children to sort the good from the bad (and of course avoid the latter). "Good" and "bad" will be defined a little differently in every family depending on where people are in their spiritual walk and what their own personal weaknesses are. We enjoy the fellowship and company of several families who don't have all the same rules but who we still respect as fellow followers of Christ.

    I am hoping our son will learn to make wise decisions regarding entertainment by the time he is an adult rather than just doing things because he is told to. 🙂

  • Keetha Broyles

    Karla, I did not realize we had so many things in common!

    I too grew up in the parsonage. Dad was a pastor in a very small denomination (Wesleyan) and we weren't allowed to go to movies in a theater either! We ALSO loved to catch a "glimpse" of the images on the drive-in theater screen as we passed by.

    However, we didn't get to do that very often as there wasn't one anywhere near us.

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