Growing up I was lucky enough to have a Drive-In movie theater not too far from home – this was called the 62 Drive-In as it was located on Highway 62. While I have talked about it ad nauseam on the Saturday Frights podcast and a couple of times on the Pop Culture Retrorama podcast – the truth of the matter is that I saw some incredible movies at that particular outdoor theater. Some of them I have written about on this site like 1984’s Star Trek III: The Search for Spock but others included 1977’s Wizards, the theatrical version of 1979’s Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, and 1986’s Aliens to name just a very, very few of the films I caught there. While only open for the Spring and Summer seasons I look back at those days now and truly believe I grew up at the 62 Drive-In. Most of that time was sitting next to my Father watching so many double features… but the truth of the matter is on occasion he would pick a movie that I had no interest in – I mean as a ten-year-old Sophie’s Choice wasn’t really in my wheelhouse. Those were the Summer nights that the playground at the 62 Drive-In called to me or the concession stand when they started carrying arcade games like Starship 1. Another thing I recall about the 62 Drive-In was the music that played before and after the feature films – I have shared before music wasn’t part of my household when growing up – so I can remember the first time I heard Creedence Clearwater Revival or Paul Revere and the Raiders at the outdoor theater. Actually in regards to music it was normally television commercial jingles and such that I would learn and frequently sing out loud at home or even on the school bus. But in the late 70’s when my Father and myself would visit the 62 Drive-In there was one Dr. Pepper commercial that I looked forward to seeing every weekend – and after you watch it I think you will find that it is absolutely the most mellow ad you’ve ever seen!
A far cry from David Naughton in his jaunty Dr. Pepper commercial, right? Quite a few years ago I stumbled on this 1970s version – which is the exact ad I caught at the 62 Drive-In and it was like I pulled back 40 years in time. I closed my eyes and I honestly could smell the hot dogs and fresh popcorn that was sold at the concession stand – I remember standing in front of the miniature merry-go-round and looking up to see that Battlestar Galactica had begun before racing back to my Father’s car. It may not be the type of time machine that H.G. Wells or even Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale dreamed up – but it’s pretty amazing that for at least a minute this 1970’s Dr. Pepper commercial can act as a musical time machine!