I'm happy to pass along the news that longtime friend and frequent TOP contributor Carl Weese is the subject of the newest feature on The New York Times' "Lens" photojournalism blog, which this morning is presenting a selection of his 8x10" and 7x17" platinum/palladium pictures of drive-in theaters across the Continental U.S.
Have a look, and be sure to view the pictures in full-screen mode. (Large-format platinum prints are one of those media that in their natural state are pretty far from small JPEGs.)
Big congratulations, Carl!
Featured Comment by Mike Plews: "It broke my heart to see the Council Bluffs Drive In picture. It was the last drive in theater in the Council Bluffs/Omaha area. Lovely work. Thanks for doing it."
Featured Comment by Robert Howell: "Many good memories of drive-in theatres, especially the mid-summer sunsets behind the screen, and trying to sneak in with my girl in the trunk of a friend's car. Can't to this day figure how they knew we were in there. The only movie I remember seeing was The Illustrated Man, in a downpour. Now there's an image!
The last drive-in theatre in my hometown closed in 2007. This is an excerpt from a Canwest article on its history: 'In 1996, a tornado destroyed one of the theatre's two screens and ripped the roof off the concession building as staff were preparing for that evening's showing of the movie Twister.'
"The city is Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and it is a magic place. There were two drive-in theatres on one stretch of road just a few miles apart, both screens facing east. As a kid I enjoyed seeing these big images in the twilight, no sound, just the hum of my Dad's Invicta as we headed into town. Surreal. They had a lot to do with my becoming a photographer.
Carl replies: About how they knew you were in there—that's easy, actually. But first I must digress. The book I'd like to do won't lack for text. Dull people don't run drive-in theaters in the 21st century. At each theater I find still in operation, I get fantastic interviews. Ask one dumb question, and just make sure the tape recorder is going. The text I can assemble from these interviews will be a treat for anyone. So, back to getting caught. Human beings are heavy—even skinny teenagers. A car with two people in the trunk doesn't sit right, and the ticket booth people spot it in an instant.