User Reviews (9)

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  • This film made me so happy! And congratulations to Virgil and his whole eccentric crew for following their mutual passion by keeping this dying art form alive and running. For those of us who grew up going to the drive-in on balmy, summer nights-meeting up with our gang of friends, loading plastic lawn chairs into the back of an old hatchback, hiding someone under our legs in the back seat under a pile of blankets, reciting movie dialogue while perched on the roof of our cars, riding on rusty swing sets during intermission-we we feel the love. It was a simpler time.

    I live in Southern California and a few drive-ins still remain. But, most have switched to digital, and yes, you can feel the difference. I hope to one day make it out to Mahoning Drive-In to catch a vintage double feature and soak in the nostalgia. Keep it up, guys!
  • This is a beautiful documentary that shows how a galvanizing passion can create a community. Recommended for all audiences, but especially lovers of film.
  • kz917-120 May 2019
    Initially I thought this drive-in was located in Mahoning County Ohio, so I was stoked as that is my birthplace.

    Wrong! This lovely gem of a drive-in is located in Pennsylvania close to Allentown.

    The documentary was a delight. Filled with just the kind of quirky characters you'd expect to work for free at a drive-in movie theater.

    I can only hope if I ever find myself near the Mahoning Drive-In on a weekend, that the place is still functioning!
  • The romance of drive-in theaters is something I've only experienced through film, but this documentary really hit me, as a small group of people battle to breath life into a way of seeing a film that is fast being denied, as the digital train bulldozes 35mm into the past. The passion, knowledge, and commitment of these kindred spirits, make me want to make a pilgrimage to experience the Mahoning Drive-in, just once for myself. A must watch.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    There's nothing like a drive-in. I feel that it's the best way to see a movie. The open sky, watching from the car or a chair, hamburgers, hot dogs, a cooler full of beer and perhaps some other substances, pizza, popcorn and staying up way too late. It's pure magic. We go see drive-in movies as often as we can and know all about the Mahoning Drive-In. This documentary tells even more of the story.

    From sleeping in the concession stand to working entirely for free, the volunteers of the Mahoning Drive-In have kept their theater alive, using their vintage projector and 35mm prints. However, when Hollywood announces that all new movies will only be available digitally, it might be the end.

    Obviously, the Mahoning is still open. This movie tells you how they stayed that way.

    I get really emotional at the drive-in. I well up with emotion at times, remembering how it felt to escape reality as a child and get to go and sit under the stars. Just seeing the big screen with the sun behind it makes me choke up a little. This film made me feel exactly the same way.
  • I first saw this documentary 2 years ago at the Omaha Film Festival, on a big screen, in a huge theater, with a festival crowd. I was blown away. Tonight, two years later, I watched it again for only the second time, at home, on my 46" screen, with 2 of my neighbors, and we were ALL blown away - AGAIN! That is an incredible film that can have that same effect after all this time! Thank you for such a wonderful experience!!!
  • If you've ever felt like an outsider, watch this film. If you've ever loved a film no one else understood, watch this film. If you love documentaries, WATCH THIS FILM.
  • Alexander Monelli's Documentary is a tribute to Pennsylvannia's Mahoning Drive-In Theater, which faced with closure for lack of funds to convert to Digital, decided to go all in on staying with 35mm film projection. Owner Jeff Mattox and a couple of movie nerd college students went all in on making the theater into a revival house, staging themed shows in costumes. The programing focus is on cult films, including a lot of SF, Horror & Fantasy. But, what really made the theater go is a rag-tag group of volunteers (Owner Mattox also claims he doesn't take a salary) who drive for as long as six hourse (each way!) to work for the love of the theaters. That's devotion. Since the Doc is so narrowly focused, don't expect too much in the way of a broader view and history of the Drive-Ins, but, for what it is, it's an enjoyable look at a beloved local business.
  • I remember going to the drive-in when I was young, usually to watch low-budget horror movies and whatnot. It was a fun place to hang with friends and be moderately mischievous. I'd hoped to get a sense of nostalgia from this doc, but it just felt so artificial to me. I don't know if it says more about the people running this theater or if it's just a sign of the times in general. Regardless, it fell flat. To me, it didn't feel like a bunch of people who loved drive-ins, it felt like a bunch of people who wanted to hold onto their love of doing something within the realm of cinema, and this was as close as they could get. Except for Jeff who just seemed like a guy who did it for a long time and didn't know what else to do. There were some poignant moments, but they were few and far between. Ultimately, it had little of the charm of other docs featuring passionate "losers" like American Movie or even The King of Kong. I'm sure there's a good doc to be made about drive-ins, but this isn't it.