Trips to the drive-inn
Yesteryear. One of the biggest treats for a Woodlands kid in the 60s was a Friday night trip to the drive-inn with your parents or perhaps with your friends parents. It was mostly Umbilo drive-inn, otherwise Bluff drive-inn and on rare occasions Durban drive-inn. That was a long trip in a VW Beetle.
We were three kids squeezed into the back seat of the Beetle and would ideally get there quite early to avoid the traffic and to give us time to play in the play park. Otherwise the queue would already start as one turned off Umbilo Road.
The drive-inns had swings, see-saws and a large upside-down top-like metal construction that we would spin around and at times the sides would lift quite high into the air. It could accommodate more than a dozen kids at a time and was popular with kids. The canteen and DJ kiosk was situated roughly in the middle of the drive-inn but I think Durban drive-inn had one at the back.
The speakers were hanging from 1.3m poles and one had to wind down a window and attach it on the inside of the window. This was messy on rainy days. Needless to say the sound was of very poor quality. Prior to the start of the movie, and at intervals, the DJ would play music and have the odd little competition – he would ask a question and the first person that got to him with the right answer would win a prize – usually some snacks or maybe a free ticket to the next movie. There were two shows but kids never lasted until the second show. Every now and then there would be a midnight show. Back home we had something like 40 stairs to climb to get to the house so we would always make as if we were asleep and our dad would carry us up the stairs and put us in our beds. Sweet memories.