April 30 at Citrus Fairgrounds
It’s time to put on your poodle skirt and get out the pomade – the “Grease” drive-in sing-a-long brings family fun to the Cloverdale Citrus Fair Fairgrounds, on Saturday, April 30.
This event, the second drive-through screening put on by the Alexander Valley Film Society, opens its doors at 6:30 p.m., and the movie starts at 7:45. There are two ways to view this campy classic on the jumbo inflatable screen – purchase an individual ticket for $15 and bring your own lawn chair, or bring a vehicle with as many people as you can fit for $50 – the most people per vehicle wins a prize. There will also be a costume contest.
For the uninitiated, “Grease” was a 1971 musical, adapted to a movie in 1978. It follows Rydell High senior students in the year 1958, including the “Pink Ladies” and the rowdy greaser gang, the “T-Birds.” Danny, the leader of the T-Birds, mentions to his friends that he met a girl named Sandy over the summer.
The two end up at the same school after she enrolls, though Danny tries to ignore her to maintain his reputation. The result is an infectiously good soundtrack, memorable characters and fun dance sequences.
“We want to use the drive-in as a point of connection for all ages, and family fun with a cinematic element, because we really believe in the transformative power of film,” said Alexander Valley Film Society Executive Director Kathryn Hecht. “Grease is fun, it’s kitschy, we have a lot of advance sales already, people just love this movie.
For so many of us it’s like in the zeitgeist of our pop culture, from when we were growing up (for ages) 40 to 50, that was one of ‘the’ movies when we were kids. And now we get a chance to share it with our kids, or my generation gets to share it with their kids.”
The rule is no outside food allowed, but there will be no shortage of local vendors. Cloverdale’s Abbie’s Taqueria will serve tacos and burritos, Flour Girl will offer “Pink Lady” and “T-Bird” cupcakes and Healdsburger their eponymous burgers. The beer and wine sponsors of the sing-a-long are Bear Republic Brewery and Geyserville’s deLorimier Winery.
This will not just be a drive-in movie, it will be a sing-a-long experience, so practice your “Summer Nights” and “Greased Lightnin’” renditions.
“It was a very strategic and specific choice to do the sing-a-long,” Hecht said. “It gets people out of themselves and into the community, and participating. And there’s just a lot of strength and good that comes from that when you’re working together as a group.”
The drive-in movie will commence in typical 1950s style – turn the car radio to the right station, and the sound will filter through. Those who bring a chair to sit on the lawn will be supplied with a radio. “It does not run down the battery,” Hecht said. “We had to confirm this last year, and we’ve never had a Prius with a problem.”
A drive-in tip: For drivers with trucks, park with the flatbed facing the screen – with sleeping bags and pillows, you’ll have a more comfortable time than staying inside the cab.
Last September, the film society hosted its first drive-in movie, featuring “JAWS,” which was hugely successful. The screenings are an addition to the Film Lab educational program, and the Film Festival, which begins this October.
“I think I’m looking forward to just building on the success that the Film Society has been having since we launched over a year ago,” said Alexander Valley Film Society Board Chair, Tod Hill. “Last year’s drive-in was essentially sold out. People had a great time, people were wondering when the next time we were going have it would be, and I think it’s just a great expression of the Film Society, our commitment to really the whole range of the community here.”
Last year, someone even brought their own boat. “Given that I know there’s a lot of people with classic cars in our community, I kind of can’t wait to see what we’re going to see in terms of how many people are going to bring cool cars, find their hair products and grease up their hair,” Hill said. “So I think it’s going to be a fun evening.”