This short documentary film “Enjoy Your Intermission” about the old Hi-Way Drive-In in Coxsackie will warm you up, and make you think of those hot spring and summer nights. ‘The film centers around the Hi-Way Drive-In and its long-time owners, who are being forced to upgrade their classic 35mm film projectors to digital. “We tried to create a film with a nice blend of ‘nostalgic portrait’ and ‘timely commentary’ on the film exhibition industry and the changes that theater owners are having to endure,” says director and producer Tansy Michaud.
When the Hi-Way opened in 1951, there were around 4,000 drive-ins in America. Right now there are only about 400 or fewer. Roger Babcock began working at the Hi-Way in 1971 in the ticket booth. In 1976, Roger and Sharon, who he fell in love and married after meeting at the Drive-In, bought the Drive-In from the original owners.
“What really sets the Hi-Way apart is that it has four screens, each showing a double feature. That’s eight movies each night, which is incredible. Roger always gets the latest releases, and he always dedicates screen two to children’s flicks like the newest Pixar or Disney films. There is no specific date to when Roger decides to open or close the theater for the season. Mainly, it is all weather-related. As soon as it warms up (normally mid-March to early April) the first movies will be shown. And then they will play all summer until usually around mid-October when it just gets so cold that folks stop coming out,” adds Michaud.
The filmmaker and the Hi-Way Drive-In owners are happy about Vimeo picked “Enjoy Your Intermission” as a “Short of the Week” and that the movie is getting buzz. The filmmakers have tried various crowd funding to help raise money to cover the cost of transitioning to digital. “We have activated the ‘tip jar’ on Vimeo.com, which means that anyone who watches and feels inspired to give a little something can do so by clicking on the tip jar button below the film. All of the ‘tips’ that the video receives will go directly to Roger and Sharon to help with the price of the projectors,” says Michaud.
According to Hudson Valley Weather, it has been the coldest February in 25 years. Well, I hope this short documentary offers you temporary relief, or at least a guided meditation or daydream about warm weather.
Enjoy the show, grab a bucket of popcorn, and think Spring! Visit the Hi-Way Drive-In website, and sign up for their newsletter to find out when they will be opening.