Saturday Night at the Movies


The drive-in’s
big night was Saturday.
Kids wandered in pyjamas
until they crashed
full of chips, Pluto pups and fizzy drinks.
Teenagers got up to antics
as parents feared,
and beer was drunk.

It was hours lounging
in camping chairs,
takeaway meals,
mattresses in the back of utes,
the occasional storm,
with fogged windscreens.

People went to the drive-in;
Australia was outdoors.

The screens have darkened
leaving excursions down memory lane.
Sites have been devoured
by development
where cars once lined up
and kids sat on pillows
to peer over
mum and dad’s shoulders.
They now sprawl in front of the TV.

Copyright © December 2012 Norma Martiri

Form: Erasure Poem

I have very fond childhood memories of going to the Paspalis drive-in in Nightcliff, Darwin with my family in the late 60’s and early 70’s, most of which are represented in this poem. My mum and dad would sit on picnic chairs in front of the car with a fold-up table full of food, and we kids would sit on a picnic blanket and eat our dinner in the cool. It was too hot to sit in the car in Darwin — it was alfresco even before we knew what alfresco meant. After dinner we’d go up to the shop to buy ice-cream and goodies. By the time the second movie came on we were buggered and slept on the blanket at our parents feet or in the back of the station wagon lined with a mattress while mum and dad sipped cold beer and enjoyed the movie. It was what families did back then.

Taken from an article by Terry Sweetman published in The Courier Mail on Sunday, 23rd December 2012

Taken from an article written by Terry Sweetman
published in The Sunday Mail on Sunday, 23rd December 2012


13 responses to “Saturday Night at the Movies

  1. I couldn’t have this experience growing up (I was born in Moscow, Russia,) but my husband’s memories sound so much like yours. I wish we could take our kids to a drive-in. Sad that it’s a thing of the past.
    Enjoyed your poem very much.

  2. Brilliant!!! I am definitely going to try one of these in the new year. Dont know how it will go, you are very good at them.
    The only drive thru we have ever had in the UK is McDonalds and even that was when drive thrus had become old hat!!

    I have just come across another type of poetry called Book Spine Poetry. Have you heard of it? It sounds interestig to have a play with.


  3. Norma, I loved this one, gosh I miss the drive in… I used to live near a drive in, and I could see the big screen from my bedroom window…my mum wouldn’t let us go to see Jaws so my friends and I squashed together on my dresser pressing our faces to my bedroom window to watch it…ha ha gosh brings back memories. You weave a wonderful memory together…mattresses in utes… Bring the drive in back I say… Thanks Norma great poem. 🙂

  4. so very cool…i love the drive in…i am lucky enough to have 2 within an hour that still run and in the summers we usually catch at least one show…i have some very fond memories of them…i saw the very first star wars movie at one….

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