Prepare to Go Retro at the Transit Drive-In

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A few weeks ago, I told you about “Going Attractions,” a documentary on drive-in movie theater history and culture that was screening at the Transit Drive-In. That was a very cool event, and the drive-in has something else special happening all summer long: Retro Movie Tuesdays.

Smaller movie theaters have realized the importance of special events, and this one is simple, and effective: classic movies on the drive-in screen every Tuesday of the summer. What I like about the lineup is that these films are, for the most part, REAL classics — not just recent summer blockbusters.

For example, tonight is a double bill of one film I love, and one I appreciate: Mel Brooks’s immortal comedy “Young Frankenstein” at 9:15 p.m., followed by the cult fave “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” at 11:15.

I recently watched most of a PBS special on Mel Brooks, and it was a reminder of what a genius the director of “Blazing Saddles” is. And how fitting that “Young Frankenstein” will screen during the summer in which a very loose adaptation of his son Max’s “World War Z” is lighting up the box office.

Meanwhile, I have never been one of the “Rocky Horror” faithful, but its screenings look to be a blast — the one in “Perks of Being a Wallflower” certainly was.

August 6 brings two great family films, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” at 9 and “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure” at 11. Tell ’em Large Marge sent you.

Two of my most beloved films growing up show at 9 and 11:15 on August 13: the John Belushi classics “National Lampoon’s Animal House” and “The Blues Brothers.” It’s gonna be pretty hard eating corn-on-the-cob with no — You probably know how that ends.

Mad Max and Snake Plissken take center stage on August 20, as “Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome” and “Escape From New York” screen at 9 and 11.

And the series comes to a close on Tuesday, August 27, with about as killer a double bill one could imagine: “Anchorman” at 9, and “The Big Lebowski” at 11.

Admission is $9 for ages 12 and older, $4 for children ages 5 to 11, and free for children under 4. Advance tickets can be purchased online.

Support your local drive-in, WNY — it’s the last one we’ve got.

At the Drive-In: The Documentary “Going Attractions” is Here for One Night Only

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The drive-in movie theater is not dead, thankfully, but it is certainly, well, wounded. Yet the theaters maintain a certain charm, and those that still exist often serve a devoted clientele. There is nothing quite like the drive-in experience, and as long as there are cars, there should be drive-ins.

Western New York is home to Lockport’s Transit Drive-In, and I’m somewhat ashamed to note that I’ve never been there. It is one of those summertime ideas my wife and I have toyed with for years, and it likely will happen as my son ages. (My own drive-in experience is limited to two now-departed theaters, one on Ridge Road in West Seneca, the other on Harlem Road in Cheektowaga.)

The Transit Drive-In always has a stellar list of new releases — the current line-up includes “Monsters University,” “Man of Steel,” “World War Z,” “This Is The End,” “Now You See Me,” and “The Internship” — but tonight a particularly special film will be screened.

Billed as “the definitive story of the drive-in movie theater,” “Going Attractions” is a documentary about the history and current status of the drive-in, and that’s fertile ground for a doc. The film is showing at 9:15 p.m., and its director, April Wright, will be on hand to answer questions and sign posters and DVDs. “Now You See Me,” the summer’s most surprising hit, shows afterwards, at 11 p.m.

While a drive-in movie at 9:15 on a Monday is past my bedtime, I’m anxious to hear what others think of the film, and look forward to catching it at some point. I’m just as anxious to do my part in keeping the Transit Drive-In alive.