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Friday, August 19, 2005
Under a Newberg skyline
The 99 West Drive In has received a good amount of press in the past few weeks. The Mercury ran a short article on its problems with local businesses and light pollution. Willamette Week ran a blurb about the place in their "Best of Portland" issue. Earlier today, the Oregonian's "A&E" section devoted a four-page spread to drive-ins along with a great ME Russell cartoon devoted to the 99 W.
It's nice to see the place is finally scoring some respect, even if it will draw even larger crowds to its already sold-out weekend showings. I bemoaned the lack of drive-ins in Portland after the Beaverton Drive-In kicked the bucket in the mid-90s. I didn't discover the 99 W until about five years ago. Unforunately, I only make it out there about once a year.
Not only is it the last of its kind near Portland, the owners have clearly invested a lot of love in the place. The snack bar serves a wide array of candy and, best of all, nachos. Ancient trailers run before and during intermission, extolling the joys of church (see the photo above. No, above that one.) and decrying public displays of affection. The 99 W is one of those places that's amazing to see still standing, in such great shape, being run by people who know exactly what they're doing. It's much like the Alibi in North Portland, an ancient, wonderful relic, immaculately preserved.
Now if only they would stop showing so many $!@#$!@! family movies. We had to sit through Madagascar before Batman Begins started.