Double Feature

The Star Warriors.

Fast Times at Airplane!


Drive-in Projectionist already wasn’t rocket science. Movies came in six reels, there were two projectors, when one reel was done you just had to time it right to close down the one and bring up the other. But then they put the platters in. Big flat wheels where all six reels would get assembled then fed into a projector. No more timing, no more switching. Just start the movie and go nap till it was done.


Alien: The Extra Terrestrial.

Tootsie Driver.


Ray’s job wasn’t hardly a job no more. The hardest part was sitting through the whole platter to make sure he put it together in the right order. And if there were double features he’d be stuck watching both movies till almost dawn. To speed things up, Ray took to playing the movies on both projectors at the same time. Then he’d switch back and forth and get through both movies in half the time. After a while he started switching more often, playing a scene in one movie then mashing it with a scene from the other.


Logan’s Blade Runner.

Close Encounters of the Lost Ark.


Word got around that there were late late night screenings of strange movies. Kids would sneak in, just sit on the dirt with the speakers in their laps. Each weekend more kids would come. They would make up movie names, bring ice chests, and cheer Ray’s knack for smashing scenes together.


The Thing of Endearment

Flash Gordon Strikes Back.


It seemed like forever, but it was only that one Summer. In the fall the town’s first video store opened, and the drive-in shuttered by the next winter. No one knew what happened to Ray, some say he went to hollywood to make movies. Others say he made wind sculptures in the woods for new age tourists.


But they’ll always remember that summer. The summer of movies that never were.


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Taken on July 6, 2012