Documentary Review: Going Attractions – The Definitive Story of the American Drive-in Movie (2013)

Release Date: June 6th, 2013
Directed by: April Wright

85 Minutes


Going Attractions – The Definitive Story of the American Drive-in Movie is a pretty good piece about the history of drive-in theaters in the United States but I do have one bone to pick with it. How can you make a movie about drive-in theaters and not interview Joe Bob Briggs? He was the American hero of the drive-in connoisseur in the 1980s. He is a guy that has seen everything and had a passion unrivaled by any other critic or writer I have ever come across. But then, this film does feature Roger Corman who Joe Bob coined “The King of the Drive-In”, so that does set me at ease a bit.

I have seen small documentaries about the history of the drive-in theater. However, never have I seen something as well put together and as extensive as this film.

April Wright, the director, did a pretty fine job of taking the audience through history, looking at each decade or era and showcasing technological innovations and just the general evolution of the drive-in theater industry. It also discusses cultural shifts and how things came along to sort of disrupt the growth and popularity of the drive-in.

Going Attractions does talk to a lot of experts, historians and drive-in fans. The interviews are made up of a lot of personal stories and experiences but they help paint the picture really well.

It is unfortunate that very few drive-ins exist anymore. Where I live, I have to drive about three hours before I even get to one and that’s a “family friendly” one. Honestly, I haven’t seen a film at the drive-in since the mid-1990s. I wish it were something that was still commonplace.

Rating: 6/10