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Sunday
Apr 20th

(Style on a Dime) Take a step back in time and enjoy a drive-in movie

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valihiDo you remember back in the “olden days,” as my children refer to it, when people used to go to drive-in movies?  Remember the ‘sound system’ that you had to clip on to your window, the foggy windows, and the mosquitoes?  Those times were so much fun (not the mosquitoes!).  I remember that during one of our drive-in outings, mama looked over her shoulder at me and said, “Lie down on the seat and cover your ears, because this part is bad!”  I am assuming she did not want me to have any nightmares from the scary or bloody parts.  All I know is that lying down on the back seat every now and then was a small price to pay to get to enjoy all that popcorn and candy!

So as you can imagine I was excited to learn that we have drive-in movie theater not (too) far away.  Since ages 12 and under get in free, it can also be easy on the wallet.  While I am giving you the skinny on my latest discovery, you think of a group of people that you’d like to take to the movies.  Be sure to include some young ’uns so they can see how you used to live in the “olden days!”  
Located just beyond the St. Paul area, off 94 in Lake Elmo, Vali-Hi Drive-In is now on our summer-must-do list, and I hope it goes on yours, too. 

While it’s true that the drive might be a little farther out than you normally go to watch a big-screen movie, there are many benefits.   First of all, the shows play every night and for the price of $7.50 per person, you get to see three movies!  The last time I checked two rated PG family movies were playing Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and Night at the Museum 2.  The third movie was a rated R flick called The Hangover.    Visit the website to check current shows http://www.valihi.com/

In addition to the movie, there is other entertainment at Vali-Hi.  Since the movie starts at dusk, you can get there a bit earlier and enjoy the arcade, which features a vintage black and white photo booth.  Of course you’ll find the usual movie theater grub; hot popcorn, candy, nachos, and drinks, but if you want to byof (bring your own food),  just do it!  Some even bring small grills and tailgate.
Finally, if you have been traumatized by gnats and mosquitoes the last time you went to the drive-in, let me put your mind at ease.  With the vehicle windows rolled up tight, you can hear the sound by tuning your car radio dial to 90.1FM.  If you want to bring your lawn chair (remember the bug spray) and sit outside, just bring a portable FM radio.  Furthermore, the theater remains open rain or shine.

Are you looking to provide your family with a new twist on an old pastime?  Try Vali-Hi.  Although the seats in your vehicle may not be quite as cushy as the ones in your favorite movie theater, it’s still worth the experience.  I think our children should see to how we used to live.   I believe (and hope) that it helps them to develop an appreciation for the numerous conveniences that they enjoy.  One final note: If you love to talk during the movie, the drive-in is the perfect place for you!  Enjoy!  

Marcia Humphrey is an interior decorator and home stager who specializes in achieving high style at a low cost.  A native of Michigan, she and her husband, Lonnie, have three children.
 

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