Drive-in double feature hosts "American Graffiti" and new documentary for classic film fans

Drivein Doublebill

Instead of plopping down on the couch for another night of binge streaming, hop into the car for a drive-in Saturday when George Lucas’ cruise-culture classic American Graffiti accompanies the 2013 documentary Going Attractions as part of a double feature this weekend at the West Wind Sacramento 6 theater.

Going Attractions, which opens the double feature at dusk, chronicles the mid-century heyday, late-century decline, and contemporary resurgence of America’s iconic drive-in pastime. Lucas’ 1973 hit and five-time Oscar nominee, about a night in the life of cruising teens in Modesto, will close the program. SacMod, a group striving to preserve and promote modern art in the Sacramento region, is hosting the event and will precede the screenings with a classic auto show featuring Sacramento-area car clubs.

Going Attractions director April Wright, who will be on hand Saturday to discuss her film with moviegoers, categorizes her film as a biography—“the life story of the drive-in,” she tells Sactown. Unfortunately, she adds, this life has seen better days. Against the advent of both the multiplex and the Internet, drive-in business has slowed considerably since its mid-20th century peak. According to Wright, around 95 percent of drive-ins that thrived at the time have closed, meaning the West Wind Sacramento 6 (which opened in 1972) is one of the rare remaining survivors to provide this vintage open-air entertainment.

But, as Wright’s movie shows us, all hope is not lost for the drive-in. “There has been a recent resurgence in the 2000s,” she explains, “with more than 35 new drive-ins being build from scratch and another 35 old ones being restored and reopened.”

So whether you’re packing the kids into the SUV or picking up a poodle-skirted date, West Wind’s double feature is just the ticket. Netflix, Hulu and HBO will be there when you get back.

Admission to the double feature is $7.25 per person. Gates open at 6 and the screening begins at sundown, rain or shine. West Wind Sacramento 6 Drive-in. 9616 Oates Dr. 363-6572.