Drive-By

A new photography exhibit celebrates and mourns the drive-in movie theater.

“We’re celebrating the 75th anniversary of something that is as American as baseball, and that’s the drive-in movie theater,” says photographer Zachary S. Malham. “I personally got on this drive-in mission — that’s what I call it — about 25 years ago here in the West. We were passing through Green River, Utah, back in ’83, and ironically enough, it was the fiftieth anniversary of the drive-in, which I was oblivious to. There was a drive-in there called Dunham’s, and I shot it, and it was in a total state of disrepair and neglect.”

Two years later, Malham and his wife, Donna, were driving past Green River again, so they got off the highway to see what had become of Dunham’s. “It was gone,” he remembers. “I thought, if drive-ins are being torn down in a town that’s close to dying, what’s happening across the rest of the West?

“I kind of went on this mission without even realizing that 25 years later, it was going to culminate in the diamond anniversary of the drive-in theater, and when I found this out last year — just by chance — that 2008 was going to be the 75th anniversary, I told Donna: ‘This is why I’ve been shooting these drive-ins,’” Malham says.

His quarter-century journey has culminated in a special exhibit, The Drive-In Movie Theater, which is on display through September at the Photographers’ Gallery, 2426 East Third Avenue in Cherry Creek; catch the photographs and a stunning collection of drive-in memorabilia. Visit www.photogallerydenver.com or call 303-780-9317.
Starts: Sept. 5. Daily, 2008

 
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