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Want to Make an HO Scale Working Drive-In Movie

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Want to Make an HO Scale Working Drive-In Movie
Posted by KidatHeart06 on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 6:35 PM

 Hi, I thought I remembered seeing a thread (with pics) about making a Working Drive-In Movie  But I can't seem to find it. Does anyone else remember it? Or was it just a dream I had ? :>)  Thanks! George

Modeling the B&O in the 50-60's

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Posted by cowman on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 8:15 PM

I've seen a drive in theater in the Walthers flyers, but can't find it now.  Remember it said Drive In across the back of the screen.  Was thinking I had seen one that showed movies.

I did a search to the right on this page, MOVIE.  On the 3rd page was a thread titled "Nice To Be Back" by Hazma9, dated 1-11-2008.  He used a 9" LCD screen with a player under the table.  No photos in that one though.

Sorry, I don't know how to send you to the thread directly.  Maybe someday I'll learn.

Good luck,

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Posted by TomDiehl on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 8:27 PM

 

http://cs.trains.com/trccs/forums/p/122444/1392838.aspx#1392838

Is this the thread? Also, back in the May 2002 issue of Model Railroader, they reviewed a working drive in theatre made by Miller Engineering. However, it doesn't show up on their curent website.

Smile, it makes people wonder what you're up to. Chief of Sanitation; Clowntown
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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 8:48 PM

 We have one on the modular layout, it always draws a lot of attention. And if you look closely there's a guy up in one of the pine trees chopping out the top so the people in the mobile home park across from the drive-in can see the screen. It's the Miller one with the LCD screen, we have a DVD player on a shelf underneath to feed it.

 Somewhere in my collection of old MR's there's an article on using a rear projection screen flat on the tabletop and a mirror in the vertical drive-in screen to play super-8 movies (that alone should give you an idea of how old the article is).

                               --Randy


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Posted by KidatHeart06 on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 8:53 PM

 Hi, thanks for the info. I emailed Hazmat to see if we could chat. George

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Posted by EM-1 on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 9:07 PM

I remember Walthers carried that Miller working drive-in.  IIR, it was a bit pricey.  MR qand RMC have had suggestions on using small screen pocket TVs connected to VCRs and DVD players.  I also seem to recall a suggestion that showed a couple carefully arranged mirrors to reflect a somewhat larger portable TV from under the layout onto a screen on the layout surface.

 Drive-ins aren't dead.  In fact, there is a two-screen drive-in in North Ridgeville, Ohio that still opens in the summers.

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Posted by wholeman on Thursday, May 13, 2010 7:40 AM

 I have seen people use a portable DVD player as a screen before.  The screen is a little thick, but if you disguise it well, it will work.

I read an article that some abandoned drive-ins are starting to open up again.  I remember going to one in the '90s and watching the movie Twister in a thunderstorm.  

There is the Admiral Twin in Tulsa, OK that is open every weekend from April to September.  It has two screens that are back to back.  Of course both screens are double features.  Together, they hold about 450 cars and they both are packed every Friday and Saturday night.

Will

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Posted by HAZMAT9 on Thursday, May 13, 2010 9:45 AM

KidatHeart06

 Hi, I thought I remembered seeing a thread (with pics) about making a Working Drive-In Movie  But I can't seem to find it. Does anyone else remember it? Or was it just a dream I had ? :>)  Thanks! George

 I just finished up one that uses a portable DVD screen with a homemade outer shell to cover it.  I built the speaker stands that each light up blue and contain speakers which are mounted on the cars.  I built a projection booth and rigged up a welder flash to simulate the projector flash.  I also built a concession and a playground area.  Lastly, I surrounded the Drive In with a tall hedge to prevent outsiders from looking in, although I have a nearby hilltop with people that watch the movie from there.  I covered the ground with light ballast to simulate the gravel and glued in wooden dowels to simulate the parking humps.  I wired the portable DVD player to a DVD/VCR combo in my control area so I can run movies from there.  The screen is a 9 inch which is pretty close to the real thing.  I mentioned in a post a week or so ago that I hopefully would post some pics soon (when I figure it out how to upload them).  Meantime if you're interested and you don't want to build one, I might be able to build one up for you (I used to have a side biz building ho scale carnival rides) or I'd be more than happy to help you out building yours.  Contact me at hazmat9@hotmail.com.

Steve "SP Lives On " (UP is just hiding their cars) 2007 Tank Car Specialist Graduate
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Posted by tinman1 on Thursday, May 13, 2010 8:09 PM

.

EM-1

I remember Walthers carried that Miller working drive-in.  IIR, it was a bit pricey.  MR qand RMC have had suggestions on using small screen pocket TVs connected to VCRs and DVD players.  I also seem to recall a suggestion that showed a couple carefully arranged mirrors to reflect a somewhat larger portable TV from under the layout onto a screen on the layout surface.

 Drive-ins aren't dead.  In fact, there is a two-screen drive-in in North Ridgeville, Ohio that still opens in the summers.

I remember going to that drive in all the time as a teenager, with a continuous stream of Conrail trains passing by, At the time I thought they were annoying. Now I'd face the truck to the tracks.

I recall seeing a commercial (Verizon IIRC) with a phone that had a projecter on it. They showed the guy projecting some movie trailer on the wall and I thought-why would anyone need something like this?Confused Guess I know now, use it for an HO drive in movie projecter. The phone should easily fit into a concession stand building and the screen could be exactly that, just a screen with nothing to hide

Tom "dust is not weathering"
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Posted by LooseClu on Friday, May 14, 2010 12:13 AM

If your drive-in is correct period wise, I'd forget the LCD screen approach and go for a hidden  8  mm projector and old 8 mm footage.  That flickering light image just can't be obtained on an LCD screen.  Just think how neat that light emanating from a projector would look during night operations.  Of course it would take one heck of a large snack bar and projection booth.Smile,Wink, & Grin  Roy  (who still has an old 8 mm projector for some reason)  

Roy         Onward into the fog                 http://s1014.photobucket.com/albums/af269/looseclu/

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Posted by Milepost 266.2 on Friday, May 14, 2010 12:52 PM
tinman1

.

EM-1

I remember Walthers carried that Miller working drive-in.  IIR, it was a bit pricey.  MR qand RMC have had suggestions on using small screen pocket TVs connected to VCRs and DVD players.  I also seem to recall a suggestion that showed a couple carefully arranged mirrors to reflect a somewhat larger portable TV from under the layout onto a screen on the layout surface.

 Drive-ins aren't dead.  In fact, there is a two-screen drive-in in North Ridgeville, Ohio that still opens in the summers.

I remember going to that drive in all the time as a teenager, with a continuous stream of Conrail trains passing by, At the time I thought they were annoying. Now I'd face the truck to the tracks.

I recall seeing a commercial (Verizon IIRC) with a phone that had a projecter on it. They showed the guy projecting some movie trailer on the wall and I thought-why would anyone need something like this?Confused Guess I know now, use it for an HO drive in movie projecter. The phone should easily fit into a concession stand building and the screen could be exactly that, just a screen with nothing to hide

Dell and a few others make micro-projectors that use an LED bulb. I'm not sure how small an image you can get with it. They run around $300.

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Saturday, May 15, 2010 11:37 AM

Have you thought of visiting a "graveyard of the rusted automobiles" and finding one of those minivans with TV screens for the kids in the back?  I think that screen would be about the right size, and it would probably just need 12V DC and an audio feed.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by Doc in CT on Saturday, May 15, 2010 11:38 AM

LooseClu
Of course it would take one heck of a large snack bar and projection booth.

 

Nothing says the projector has to be in the same plane as the scenery.  This would also apply to the micro LCD projectors mentioned above (which if it didn't compromise ventilation could be vertical with a 45degree mirror). 

The 3M MPro110 (which goes for about $150) can project an image as small as 6 inches from a distance of about 9.5 inches.  The image has been described as "bland" but for the use intended that might not be a bad thing.

Co-owner of the proposed CT River Valley RR (HO scale) http://home.comcast.net/~docinct/CTRiverValleyRR/

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Posted by AztecEagle on Sunday, May 16, 2010 9:52 PM

Well,I was the guy who started the post about  a working drive in movie last year.

How I plan on doing it-I have the main two items,btw-is use a portable 7"DVD Player and the now discontinued Light Works USA Drive In Theater sign.

 

 

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Posted by AztecEagle on Sunday, May 16, 2010 9:53 PM

A few miles south of Dallas,there's the Galaxy Drive In Theater in Ennis.

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Posted by ERICSAUTO on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 10:02 AM
I have a working Drive - in on my layout. I have been rebuilding my layout and just got the drive in working last night. I am using a portable dvd player and a 7" screen . I bought , I believe , the Blair line Drive -in kit and built it around the screen. Yes it does not have the " flickering" but it looks pretty good. I will be taking pictures in the next couple of days of what I have done as of now and post the link for you. My problem is finding or designing a small concession/ projector house. I have some Ideas and will have to scratch build one I guess.
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Posted by ERICSAUTO on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 8:07 PM
Here are some pictures of the drive in. You can view them all at my photobucket account. click this thumbnail and it will take you to my photobucket page. http://s806.photobucket.com/albums/yy347/ericsauto/The%20new%20drive%20-in%20may%202010/
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Posted by KidatHeart06 on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 12:20 AM

 Thanks for the photos!  Model Power makes a small Power Station that might work as a Projection Booth/ Concession Stand.  George

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Posted by ERICSAUTO on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 6:25 AM
That is a good idea . I did buy this kit by bachman "Drive in Hamburger Stand Kit HO" . I think I can kitbash it and make it work. I also download some old Drive-In ads from here - ------ http://www.archive.org/details/Drive-inIntermission23 ----------- I then burned them to a dvd and play them when people come over. It gives you that old " Flickering" look, pretty cool. I have to give my wife the credit on this, she came up with the Drive-In idea.
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Posted by MisterBeasley on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 9:00 AM

You need a copy of The Great Locomotive Chase or Emperor of the North to show at the Drive-In.  It would be even better to break into the movie and insert some of those tacky animated snack-bar ads.

There's a working Drive-In in Wellfleet, MA, that we go to if we're spending time on Cape Cod.  They still have those snack-bar ads, which I regard as superb "modeling of the Transition Era," because they are so faithful to the original.  This Drive-In is really a step back in time, except for the sound systems.  They do still have some spots with the old sound box units, but I really like the new technology of a short-range FM broadcast system that you listen to with your car radio.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by YoHo1975 on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 2:31 PM
The HO San Diego club at the San Diego Model Railroad museum has a Drive in on the layout. Don't know if it's one of the kits. If you're electrically savy, you could probably make a slimmer screen by disassembling the plastic case and mounting the LCD directly. I've thought about using those mini projectors as well, but in a fully lit scene they wouldn't work so well...of course, a drive in shouldn't be populated in daylight hours, so there you go.
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Posted by KidatHeart06 on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 5:47 PM

 Great site with the old drive-in ads!  Thanks for sharing! George

Modeling the B&O in the 50-60's

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Posted by ERICSAUTO on Thursday, May 20, 2010 6:18 AM
My first screen I did disassemble the case and made a slimmer version. Bad thing was that it went bad very quick and I had to tear it all apart and put in a new screen. I found a 7" monitor with a small housing. I works ok for now but I think I am going to find another screen and rebuild a whole new Drive-In screen. That will be down the road after I get some more of my important projects done.
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Posted by JSperan on Thursday, May 20, 2010 10:53 AM

Maybe its the pictures but to me it looks just like what it is, an LCD screen.  It doesn't really look like any drive-in screen that I have ever seen.  Then, cars and a movie playing in daylight is all wrong too, IMO.

Not meaning to criticize your efforts, I'm just saying it doesn't look at all realistic to my eye.  Perhaps if it were a night scene...?

Is this a modern drive-in, after radio transmitters replaced pole mounted speakers, or maybe I just missed them?

Nice idea for a scene all the same.  

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Posted by chatanuga on Thursday, May 20, 2010 11:28 AM

ERICSAUTO
 

Is that Smokey and the Bandit playing?

Kevin

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Posted by ERICSAUTO on Thursday, May 20, 2010 11:41 AM
Answering both replies: 1st - it is a LCD screen and that is Balsa wood around it with part of the Blair line Drive-in kit .I am going to make another one sometime this year to make it look more like a real one. Maybe I will take some pictures with the light s off and see how it looks, might be a good idea. Remember to the viewer they don't think of the details like we do. As for the poles, they will come later just as all the other details will. This is just the rough outline of what I am doing. thanks for the observation. 2nd - yes that is Smokey and the Bandit. If you can see on the sign , that is what is supposed to be showing, plus I like the movie .
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Posted by JSperan on Thursday, May 20, 2010 1:12 PM

ERICSAUTO
Remember to the viewer they don't think of the details like we do. As for the poles, they will come later just as all the other details will. This is just the rough outline of what I am doing. thanks for the observation.

 

Thanks for the explanation.  I look forward to seeing what you do with your new and improved screen.  True story about the details, most visitors don't think like model railroaders!

ERICSAUTO
yes that is Smokey and the Bandit. If you can see on the sign , that is what is supposed to be showing, plus I like the movie .

 

Indeed!  Great movie to show at the Drive-in too.  Since it is playing with the Gauntlet I assume this is a premiere at the drive-in, circa 1977.  You'll need those speaker poles for sure!

Two great movies for their time for sure.  Here's one more for the rivet counter in all of us...Smokey and the Bandit was released in May of 77 but The Gauntlet was released in December 77.  Would these two have been shown as a double header? [wink]

A few other options that could have made up the double feature;

Star Wars

A Bridge Too Far

Annie Hall

An interesting detail might be a carload of teens getting caught hiding in the trunk...

This is a scene I could see on a layout in my future.  Thanks for sharing!

Sounds like an even better scene is on the way.  Looking forward to updates!

 

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Posted by ERICSAUTO on Friday, May 21, 2010 6:31 AM
Just wanted to let everyone know that my trees are crooked because they are not glued down yet. LOL I have already moved the playground to the front of the screen like in the old days. Lot more detail to work out , it will get there. Another note is that if you are going to do this I would buy a 9" wide LCD. I think someone mentioned that and I think that would get you closer to scale. That will be my new one. Also can someone explain to how I can break my paragraphs up in this forum. I try to space stuff out and it is not working >
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Posted by ERICSAUTO on Friday, May 21, 2010 6:40 AM

Forget it I figured it out. I use Apples Safari as a browser and it does not support the text editor for this forum so I can't space things correctly.

 

See now it works Sign - Dots 

 Back to work I go!

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Posted by rs2mike on Friday, May 21, 2010 8:44 AM

 

EM-1

I remember Walthers carried that Miller working drive-in.  IIR, it was a bit pricey.  MR qand RMC have had suggestions on using small screen pocket TVs connected to VCRs and DVD players.  I also seem to recall a suggestion that showed a couple carefully arranged mirrors to reflect a somewhat larger portable TV from under the layout onto a screen on the layout surface.

 Drive-ins aren't dead.  In fact, there is a two-screen drive-in in North Ridgeville, Ohio that still opens in the summers.

There is also one in kent/ravenna ohio and one in wadsworth ohio both run by a former flight student of mine.  the one in kent/ravenna is a 2 screen one and he uses the original (restored) commercials for the snack counter and stuff.  It is really cool.  Good price and he pumps the sound through your cars stereo.

alco's forever!!!!! Majoring in HO scale Minorig in O scale:)

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