SLIDE OF THE TIMES, (BETHLEHEM DRIVE-IN)
I’ve often wondered about the ethics of deconstruction, the power one has to defragment pockets of history.
I am guilty of course and justify this by virtue of the fact that I intend to preserve the memory…
These slides that we once projected on a now non-existent screen tell their own story of decline and neglect.
It took me a while to find the Bethlehem Drive-in. few people even remembered having a Drive-in in Bethlehem.
The scene as you see it, in this picture, is pretty representative of the way you would find it even today. What you don’t know from the picture is that the SAP dog unit have made the old cafeteria their new headquarters.
The Bethlehem drive-in was evidently one of the last drive-ins to use the old retractable speaker system, as opposed to the now prevalent radio frequency system. When I opened the small projector beam shutters letting diagonal shafts of light fall across the scene I found a waist high pile of speakers in the middle of the projection room floor.
I pulled my car round intending to “salvage” these and other memorabilia such as the slides accompanying the print. I was just leaving with an armful of treasure when I was met at the door by two officers and their dogs. They enquired what I was up to but were soon more intrigued by the dusty interior dream scene behind me and didn’t wait for my reply, just pushed quietly past me to start exploring its contents themselves.
I loaded my boot and quietly left the Bethlehem Drive-in behind me.