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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Bring me the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater on DVD!

Okay, here's something I'd definitely drop down $49.99 for. Now I just need someone to make it.

The Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater at Disney Hollywood Studios (formerly Disney MGM Studios) is one of my all-time favorites, a "can't miss" anytime I make it to the parks. It's a large building with "cars" inside (the picture at left shows it nicely) and you sit in your table-equipped cars and order your meal while watching a drive-in movie reel populated with 50s-era shorts, cartoons, ads, and movie trailers. The food is good (my mother recently said that the hamburger was the best she'd ever had)--a combination of things like burgers and shakes with pasta and salad offerings. But the real seller here is the atmosphere--the darkened area, the drive-in screen, the campy footage.

The restaurant shows the same movie reel over and over again. It lasts somewhere in the 40 to 50 minute range, so you generally don't notice any repetition unless you tarry too long (and with a huge waiting list filled with other park guests waiting to get in, you shouldn't do that).



I love the reel. It's fun and silly and retro and engrossing--the kind of thing that equally captivates a wide range of people (like my mother, Dina and me, and Alex and Zack--three generations of riveted watchers--that's us in the picture, in case you didn't guess. Yes, I'm wearing a Flash T-shirt. Yes, it's Barry Allen. No, I'm not the hippest cat on the block. Or maybe I am...). And every time I see it, I get a strong urge to watch some old sci-fi movies. Particularly, of course, the ones featured in the restaurant.

Some enterprising soul recorded the list of features and trailer here. I won't list them all in this space since some of them are his shorthand references to the various shorts (like the self-driving electric car or the frying saucer) and some of the references he made I don't understand enough to translate (what's "Garco and WED"?). But I will list the movies below.

Anyway, here's my proposal: Disney should create a DVD package that includes the entire reel, plus copies of all the classic movies on the trailers. They could sell it through regular venues, although of course it would be a perfect souvenir of the restaurant itself. I would totally, totally buy this. A lot of the movies are available individually on DVD or in various compilations, but what I'd like is a nice, slick, remastered DVD set containing all of them. What fun!

Here's the list of movies:

Oh, and a nice, juicy cheeseburger and a chocolate shake to go with them would be nice, too.

3 comments:

nichole said...

The clip for the Colossal Man cracked us up. "I DON'T WANT TO GROW ANYMORE!" and then he throws the gigantic syrnige into the scientist, lol!!

Rob Rogers said...

Yep, I'd love to see the whole movie some day. Thanks for stopping by, Nichole!

Anonymous said...

It sounds great. Too bad we can't seem to get a reservation! We are going in June and we have never been there.
sooo disappointing. Any advice?