Furious 7 may boast an $190 million budget and a billion dollars in worldwide box office receipts, but it’s still essentially a drive-in B-movie sold on car chases and girls, fistfights and explosions. In other words, Furious 7 was the perfect film to experience at North Ridgeville, Ohio’s Aut-O-Rama Twin Drive-In Theatre – an outdoor movie palace whose mammoth second screen looms over a highway dotted with red tail lights receding into the summer night.
Dating back to 1965, the theatre is in the midst of its 50th season – all under the ownership of the same family. Located near Cleveland, Ohio, the Aut-O-Rama plays two sets of double-features every night of the week during the drive-in season of Memorial Day-to-Labor Day.
You’ll want to visit the concession stand for two reasons. First, instead of the usual soggy hot dogs and frost-bitten Choco Tacos, the Aut-O-Rama offers everything from pizza, chicken wings and meatball subs to funnel cakes, slushies and soft serve ice cream. The menu is basically the American Heart Association’s list of what not to do. The second reason you’ll visit the concession stand? You’ll have no choice. The Aut-O-Rama takes its “No Outside Food” policy very seriously. Pretty much one step short of cavity searches. I rolled up to the ticket window with a 12-hour old, nearly empty White Castle cup in my vehicle and was asked to toss it just in case I had any wild ideas about drinking an inch of warm melted ice water instead of buying a fresh Pepsi.
To help keep the drive-in experience alive, visit one of these 400 drive-ins this summer. Continue onward to check out a few photos from my visit.