Far-out movie fantasy

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A terrible thing happened a Sunday back. Malibu, of all places, lost its only movie theater. Reports are that it will take from six months to a year to repair or replace it. Could this be the Revenge of the Sith? But it doesn’t have to be that kind of long, hot summer. Movies can again flow in Malibu. The theater can be replaced, temporarily, in a matter of days, if you all work together. The fix is call, “Outdoor Drive-In Movie!”

There are at least three properties in the center of Malibu which will remain vacant for the projected period. The drive-in doesn’t have to be fancy or very large, a hundred cars or so, and most of the facilities would be fugitive. Some are driven off every night for safe storage and replenishment. Only the poles from which the screen is hung would remain in place.

The projector is mounted in a plain delivery van with a slit cut for the projected beam. Of course, the van is air-conditioned. The refreshment bar is a standard lunch wagon, serving, perhaps, even a better mix and a fresher quality of refreshments than ever before. The restrooms are a dozen porta-potties, cleaned frequently with live steam.

The screen, with battens and air gussets and guy wires, is unfurled each evening powered by a $100 electrical winch. During times of the Santa Anas, pirate movies and sea stories will take on a particular liveliness. Passers-by can be lured in the by the shadows on the screen or practice their lip=-reading from the street, but regular patrons can tune in the sound on their car radios. Families can again go to the theater without disturbing the self-absorbed or other absorbed. And young people will make fresh discoveries about the human condition and fresh popcorn in the relative safety of the community.

V. Gerald Scordan