In the mid-1950s and late 1960s, drive-in theaters were popular for date nights and family entertainment. Times change, and the charm of sitting in a car with a scratchy speaker hanging off a partially rolled-down window has taken a back seat to multiscreen theaters, 3-D and IMAX.
You are in luck if you crave a throwback experience. A handful of towns in Florida still offer drive-in movies:
- Lakeland’s Silver Moon (www.silvermoondrivein.com).
- Ruskin Family Drive-in (ruskinfamilydrivein.com).
- Ocala Drive-in (ocaladrivein.info).
- Dade City’s Joy-Lan Drive-in (joylandrivein.com).
Many have gone digital. Instead of speakers, you can listen to the audio through your FM radio.
Drive-ins often show first-run movies at a fraction of the cost of indoor theaters.
Tampa’s Fun Lan Drive-in and its sister attractions in Fort Lauderdale and Lake Worth (www.floridaswapshop.com) show movies, and offer swap shops, farmers or flea markets on certain days of the week. Each has multiple screens. The Fort Lauderdale location has carnival rides.
Not interested in a film? Sometimes it is just fun to browse the daytime vendor booths. You never know what bargains you will find.
The number of family vacations is on the rise, according to AAA, which reports travel sales in Florida are up 25 percent from 2016.
Whether for a long weekend, a week or longer, more people will be taking vacations in 2017. And they will be taking more of them—three or more. That is up from one or two in previous years.
Where will you head? The most popular vacations are road trips, visits to national parks, theme parks and international destinations. Cruises also registered on the survey.
If you are getting or renewing a passport, here are some tips about your passport photo:
- Take off your glasses. As of November, glasses cannot be worn in passport photos.
Make sure the background is off-white or white. Avoid wearing a white shirt.
- Wear something from your normal wardrobe; head coverings or hats are not allowed unless you wear them daily for religious reasons.
- If you smile, be natural; a neutral facial expression is preferable.
Print the photo on regular photo paper; matte or glossy is acceptable.
- The photo must be square: 2 inches by 2 inches is standard. The head size, facing forward, should be 2 to 23/8 inches from the top of the head to the chin.
- Many chain drug stores and warehouse clubs offer affordable—and properly sized—passport photos.
Florida native Pamela A. Keene is a freelance journalist who specializes in travel, gardening, personality and feature writing. The avid traveler also is a photographer and accomplished sailor. Her website is www.pamelakeene.com.