Friday, January 28, 2005

The Litchfield Drive In

Reprinted with permission from my website

Ah yes, the infamous Litchfield Drive-in. Known all over the country, the Litchfield Drive-in was an outdoor X-rated theater. It was literally a one-minute walk, diagonally across the street from our house. Now, you have to remember that VCRs were not heard of until the mid-eighties. Prior to that, if you wanted to see a movie, you had 2 options: the cinema or (in the summer) the outdoor drive-in. Growing up in the 'burbs, X-rated movies were unheard of, unless you wanted to go down to the Combat Zone in Boston or drive up to St Catherine Street in Montreal. The Litchfield Drive-in showed 2 feature films a night, 6 days a week, and let me tell you - they were hardcore. How do I know this? Well, let's just say that my brother Eric, my friends and I had several spots mapped out where we could see through, over, or even under the fence. This was sometimes difficult because there was always a cop on duty who was constantly on the lookout for deviant youths, such as we were. More than once we were chased so it behooved us to map out getaway routes through the swamp across the street or the sandpit behind the fence. I'm proud to report that none of us ever got caught.
Before we were old to enough to know exactly what was going on inside, it was a magical time. The line of cars was literally a mile long to get in. We would ride our bikes up and down the street yelling at all the cars waiting to get in "Aha, perverts, we know what you're gonna do!". Some of them ignored us, some of them got angry, and some of them laughed at us. It was alot of fun for us. The owner was a crazy old French-Canadian woman named Theresa Dufault. She provided us with hours of entertainment over the years. She had two sons named Armand and Roger who we were good friends with - they were also a good source of laughs. Sometimes we would help them with their chores - which was mostly cleaning the drive-in the next morning. We did this because it got us a free visit to the snack bar before the movies started, which was good for a Chunky Bar or maybe an ice cream. And of course, we would always find girlie magazines along the side of the road which we added to our collection. We had an admirable collection which we kept in various places, such as our tree forts, or hidden in the sandpit across the street. In fact, one time I was mad at my mother during a Sunday afternoon game of Monopoly and I called her a dildo - I didn't know what it was, but I saw the word in one the aforementioned magazines we had found. That was a priceless moment.
Sometime is the mid 80's (84? 85?), the Litchfield Drive-In burned down in a fire, which also claimed the life of Theresa Dufault. It was a terrible tragedy, and we were all shocked. Theresa's daughter Lisa rebuilt it and tried to turn it into a "legitimate" theater showing mainstream films. But alas, the age of the VCR had begun, and the Litchfield Drive-In soon closed it's doors for good. But those of us who grew up in the neighborhood will never forget.

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