.Best of East Bay 2023 – Romance

Old School Cool

The West Wind drive-in theater for nostalgic romance with modern updates

What romantic venue in the East Bay shouts brand-spanking new while crooning comfy nostalgia at the same time? Answer: The West Wind drive-in theater in Concord. 

With general admission tickets at $9, admission to the all-digital, first-run Hollywood movies won’t break the bank, allowing for love-inducing add-ons such as flowers, jewelry, electric lawn trimmers, lingerie for later or whatever sets the right mood. If the family van isn’t a loved one’s idea of a romantic ride, rent a classic car, dig up some vintage clothing from the 1930s—the era when drive-ins began operations—and drive up in style. 

But make sure to have a radio. Audio delivered through FM radios in vehicles or portable devices means no rolling the window down and having to cringe at poor sound delivered through overhead, refrigerator-size speakers. Movie goers can keep the windows zipped and snuggle under cover of darkness. 

Movie times start close to 9pm, with a second show two-and-a-half hours later that most often features movies with adult (PG-13 and R) ratings. A 15-minute intermission between movies provides time to jump in line at the snack bar. 

For the Ph.D.-level romantic moviegoer, one remaining tool for stirring up the ooziest love chemistry dangles tantalizingly. With a minimal fee and two weeks’ notice, a wedding proposal, invitation to the prom, tribute to an anniversary or maybe even just a simple declaration of adoration can appear as big as a dinosaur on the massive, hi-def screen. At a drive-in, whether it’s old, new, big, bold, tender, forever, just-for-now or any other kind of love, one thing is certain: It’s romance.

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Lou Fancher
Lou Fancher has been published in the Diablo Magazine, the Oakland Tribune, InDance, San Francisco Classical Voice, SF Weekly, WIRED.com and elsewhere.


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