Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Drive-In Review: MIDWAY DRIVE-IN (Minetto, NY)

2475 State Route 48
Minetto, NY 13115
(315) 343-0211

Date of visit: 9/3/2010
Grade: A+

Mr. Rice, our driver’s ed teacher back in high school, used to warn us about becoming “velocitized by the road,” a term we’ve casually dropped in traffic court on more than one occasion to avoid getting points on our license after a guilty plea for speeding. Wellllllll, the Temple crew wasn’t technically speeding down N.Y.S. Route 48 on that Friday night of this past Labor Day weekend, but we were certainly going the limit on a pitch-black country road during a rainstorm and maybe had become slightly velocitized when our car rounded a corner coming off a winding hill and we suddenly found ourselves face to face with a giant cat in a Hannibal Lecter facemask that was flapping its tongue at us menacingly. Once our driver eased up on the brakes and got the car straightened out (and all the screaming stopped), we caught sight of CATS AND DOGS on a theater marquee and realized we had reached our destination.

The Midway Drive-In, so named because of its location midway between Fulton and Oswego on N.Y.S. Route 48, is an exemplary ozoner that has been in business for 63 summers, 24 of them under the present management. Cinema Treasures claims the theater has a 600-car capacity, but the night we attended heavy rains had reduced all but the first 7 rows muddy and unusable. The concession staff did a professional job of suppressing laughter when, 10 minutes before the intermission, Po-Man staggered in soaking wet and purchased a bottle of water.

Because of the lousy weather and our delayed arrival, we missed the whole pre-show vibe and therefore cannot comment on the general attitude of the Midway’s audience. However, we were impressed enough with the Midway to award it an A+ rating for the following reasons:

1. The “Lights Out” rule is strictly enforced. On a night that was pitch black and pouring rain, not once did we see headlights flash across the screen.

2. "Look, mom, it's Herbie!"

We're ashamed to admit that we drove right past the lovable bug and didn't see him during our first dark and stormy visit. Thankfully, we had time the next morning to return and take pictures.

3. In between features, the Midway runs classic concession stand and intermission spots from the 1950s through the early ‘80s.

4. A decent-sized screen with a sharp image

5. Membership in the United Drive-In Theatre Owners Association (UDITOA)

6. A nice, clean concession stand with friendly employees

7. The theater offers special deals to their repeat customers by issuing Regulars Cards to both adults and children

8. They also give out a free large pizza with toppings every night during the intermission (Hold on to your ticket stub!)

9. The Midway was the first drive-in to show open-captioned films for the deaf and hard of hearing, and for the past 7 years they have held an Open Caption Show during Deaf Awareness Week.

10. They hand out lots of reading material at the box-office!

Bravo! Now that's an A+ drive-in!

The Midway Drive-In is now closed for the season, but for more information please visit their website.


Caelum said...

That's an excellent drive-in review, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. This sounds like an almost perfect drive-in, and I say almost because it appears to lack window-hanging speakers. Of course, so do 99.9% of drive-ins, but the one nearest me still has them, so I'm spoiled.

Anyway, hope I get to visit this one sometime.

Ken Mac said...

the signage alone is A+

Nick Cato said...

What a great, heartfelt blog---keep these coming!