Exactly 60 years ago, Australia’s first drive-in opened in Melbourne. After two years it was one of 24 across the country, the sudden spread and popularity coming thanks to a brisk increase of car ownership, coupled with reasonable ticket prices making them destinations for family outings (if you’ve ever tried to take multiple young children to a cinema you might understand the convenience of literally driving them up to the screen). In the heady, post-war ‘50s, the popularity of this novel new way to take in a movie skyrocketed, and it continued to gather steam through the next decade.
But rather than a day out with the kids, pop culture has cemented the drive-in as a habitat for teenage loitering and lust – preferably in muscle cars, bobby socks, circle skirts, pompadours and letterman jackets.
And where these images of youth and retro frolic were forged, there they have also stayed. Rather than endure through the times as a place of entertainment the drive-in is a novel relic of the past. Vast vacant lots gave way to vertiginous property developments, and VHS sidelined cinema long before you could ever stream a movie on a phone. Now, drive-ins are a rarity, with only the Blacktown Skyline Drive-in keeping the dream alive ... until now.
In a tribute to the Blacktown and the noble ghosts of drive-ins past comes the Honda Jazz Magic Mobile Drive-in, a wonderfully nostalgic pop-up event designed to take you back to simpler days when people like us spent time in the outdoors, making out with our high-school sweethearts behind foggy windscreens, eating popcorn, listening to music and drinking soda. Or if you didn’t do these things (because you’re Australian, and not 60 years old), then you’ll remember seeing them in Grease, or driving past Blacktown’s big screens on a summer night with the windows down.
For one night only on November 29, the Magic Mobile Drive-in will let you experience it all again at a cinema so portable it could be absolutely anywhere. The location will be revealed just 48 hours before the screening (but you can get an idea of the distance via the Magic Mobile Drive-in site.
There are just 100 car spaces up for grabs, and if you win one, your ticket gets you a night under the stars, free popcorn, a drink, access to some of Sydney’s best food trucks and one of our hands-down favourite cult movies. We’re not at liberty to give you any more information right now, but rest assured the film and venue are equally inspiring, and will be announced 48 hours prior to the screening.
To enter the ballot for the Sydney screening on November 29, visit honda.com.au/magic
Ballot entries have now closed. This article is presented by Honda.