Stranded at the drive-in having an electrifying good time is my idea of a great 4th of July celebration. Even though we aren’t American, it was still good to celebrate and that’s exactly what we did with itison Drive-In Movies Summer.
Itison Drive-In Movies have put on many events over the past few years at various locations, including Edinburgh, Glasgow and Loch Lomond. This time, they chose Troon, a small seaside town in Ayrshire overlooking the beautiful Isle of Arran.
I’ve wanted to go to the Christmas Drive-In movie events they’ve had in the past to see Elf, Home Alone, E.T. and Die Hard, but I never managed to get a ticket in time. So when I saw that one of my all-time favourite movies, Grease, was going to be shown at this year’s summer event, I had to get tickets.
Over the two-day event, three classic American movies were shown on the huge 100m2 HD LED screen, which is the biggest in the world. Dirty Dancing was first to kick start the celebrations, followed by Jaws and then Grease.
I took along my fellow Pink Lady (my sister) and two T-Birds (boyfriend and nephew).
We arrived for the 2pm showing of Grease at 12:45pm, as we wanted to make sure we got a good spot to park our car and have a look around before the movie started. There was American BBQ street food, wood-fired pizza, ice cream, popcorn, candy floss, fish and chips etc. There was even a Ferris wheel just like the one in Grease. How cool!
Upon arrival, our ticket was checked at the gate and we were given free bags of Haribo sweets, much to the delight of my nephew and a food menu. We were then guided to a space to park our car. We had to explain to the steward that we’d need access to the back of our car to allow our ramp to go down for me to get in and out of the car. The steward was completely understanding and ensured no-one parked too close to our car.
We were given instructions to tune into a radio station, which instantly belted out classic American songs that made us sing along to and this is how we heard the movie. In the lead up to the movie starting, the screen continually showed Tweets from celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Jon Snow, but also Sandy and Danny themselves, Baby and Johnny from Dirty Dancing and the baddest Great White there is, Jaws. There was also films quizzes and karaoke sing-alongs too, which was a cool touch and kept everyone entertained until the movie started.
There was a row of portaloos – four standard and two slightly wider. One of the wider toilets had a baby changing sign on it, but there was no wheelchair sign indicating whether any were an accessible toilet. I’m assuming the one with a sign on it was though. I never got to use this toilet as there was a constant stream of kids using it. Even though I didn’t actually use it, I thought it looked very small and doubt it could accommodate my wheelchair and a companion. I also didn’t like the gap at the bottom of the door, allowing anyone to see inside the toilet – not very discreet!
Luxury toilets were located right next to the portaloo’s, completely inaccessible to wheelchair users due to the steps up to them. I ended up waiting until we left the drive-in movie and drove to a nearby supermarket that had better accessible toilets.
When we arrived a steward told us the screen was low because of the winds and that it would be raised up for the start of the movie. I usually remain in my wheelchair in my car, but I couldn’t see the screen unless I leant forward. We decided it would be best to lift me into the front passenger’s seat, that way I’d have a better view of the screen once it was raised up.
Unfortunately, the screen never got raised as I’m guessing it was too unsafe due to the typical Scottish weather. This meant it was really difficult to see the screen properly. It was cloudy and rainy throughout the movie, hence the poor quality in some of the photos. Allan and my sister insisted I sit in the driver’s seat as that gave the best view of the screen between the cars in front. They wanted me to be comfortable and actually see my favourite movie that I was so excited about watching. Allan and my nephew enjoyed colouring in and playing in the back of the car, while my sister and I watched and sang along to Grease. I even got a chance to pretend I was driving, which my nephew loved.
Although the 1hr50min showing of Grease flew in, I loved every single minute of it. One of my favourite scenes in Grease is when Sandy and Danny are in the drive-in and he sings ‘Sandy’ after she walks out and leaves him “stranded in the drive-in”. So it was really cool to be watching it in a drive-in just like in the movie. I’m just a huge Grease fan and always have been. I’m not even ashamed to admit it! We all had a great time and will definitely go to another itison Drive-In Movie event. I just wish the event organisers can improve the accessible toilet facilities to make it easier for people with disabilities.
What movie would you love to watch at a drive-in?
Feature image courtesy of itison.com