Day Twenty-Three – I Miss the Drive-In

23 01 2010

About the same time that Christmas ends, my hatred for winter begins to take hold. No longer can I drive without worrying about the little old lady behind me, following a little too closely. Trips to the beach are the most depressing sight, with half melted snow barely covering the litter left in the fall. Yet, most disappointing of all is the closing of the drive-in.

Maybe I’m exaggerating a touch, but the drive-in has always been a metaphor for the care-free summer nights of the yesteryear. Watching the sunset behind the big screen. Hearing the crunching of gravel and sand as movie-goers find their parking spots. The smell of popcorn mixed with a cool summer nights breeze. There’s nothing like it.

Though the backdrop in Oakville isn't quite as spectacular, it still gives me that warm feeling inside.

I must confess, I didn’t get to the drive-in more than once last year due to the awful summer weather. If the weather-man is nice to us all this coming summer, though, I’m ready and willing to make up for it.

As far as specific venues go, I’m a big fan of the 5 Drive-In in Oakville. They really sell the family aspect of going to the drive-in and love to play up the nostalgia. They used to play a Woody Woodpecker cartoon before the first feature and they still play the “Let’s All Go to the Lobby” song and dance.

It’s also a lot more affordable than going to a regular movie theatre. You get two, sometimes three, new releases for $11.00. It can get as low as $5.00 for the same movies on Tuesdays or $15.00 for “Carload Thursdays”. Not to mention you can control who you sit next to.

The 5 Drive-In was open all the way until Christmas last year, thanks to the mild weather. As much as I like having it as my special thing to do in the summer, I really hope more people go and support this theatre. The summer nights at the drive-in are something I look forward to all year-round and I would hate for that to end. So if you have a car, grab yourself a comfortable pillow and drive your way down to Oakville to catch a couple flicks.

I plan to this summer and I can’t wait.

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Day Nine – It’s About Time, But It Still Won’t Work

9 01 2010

As I stumbled through my daily readings across the internet, I found an article that I thought I’d see much sooner, but still never really expected to see. It was about a website called Be Fair to the Fans. These fans are the loyal to a fault fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs. It seems a group of them, though a small one, have decided that a 28th place team has no right to charge the highest prices in the league.

Their demands are a little hopeful, but here they are:

  • Reduce ticket prices by 20% until the team is a legitimate contender (starting in the 2010 season)
  • Reduce concession and merchandise prices by 10% for 2010 season
  • 3 less games broadcast on Leafs TV for the 2010 season

    I don’t see any of the three happening any time soon.

    Here’s why:

    1. The Air Canada Centre has to be the hardest arena to get tickets to at any time, let alone quality tickets. I’ve never had a problem finding tickets in Detroit, and most times I could get my hands on decent ones. There’s a reason for that. For every one ticket in Toronto, there are three others trying to snatch it up. Would you give up your seat knowing you may never get it back again or would you just suffer through the crappy team and hope for better days?

    The 28th Placed Toronto Demands the Highest Ticket Prices in the NHL

    2. Though the concessions are outrageously priced, people have associated eating and drinking at a hockey game with watching one. Until you’re able to bring a two-four into the arena with you, I don’t ever see this going down. Regardless, if they were to do so as a loyalty, people would definitely be losing jobs. The Toronto Maple Leafs are a business more than any other team in the league and the last thing they’re going to do is lose out on blue chip profits.

    3. Leafs TV has a contract. It can’t be broken because some fans are upset that they can’t watch a game or two against Nashville or Carolina. I’m sure Rogers, who now offers Leafs TV as a part of their regular package, wouldn’t be happy about losing this incentive they’ve given to potential customers over a handful of unhappy fans.

    In any other city, something like this might work. Buffalo has to earn their fans. When they’re doing poorly, it’s a ghost town in the HSBC Arena. When things are going well, good luck finding a ticket. Difference is, Toronto has a much larger, and wealthier, hockey market. New York has a much higher population, but it’s not a hockey exclusive market. A Rangers fan may just as likely be a Yankees fan. Or for that matter, a Islanders fan.

    If there was a second team in Southern Ontario to flock to, then maybe the Leafers would have something to worry about. Until the league expands to 32, Toronto fans will have to put up or shut up.

    Which is why you can find me in Joe Louis Arena.

    Go Wings Go!