Eau Claire, Wis. (WEAU) -- At the Gemini Drive-in movie theater, it is just a couple hours from the big show. The popcorn is popped, the ice is poured. Things inside the concession stand are picking up.
And outside, movie-goers hungry for a good flick get their tickets to tonight's show.
All of them will get to see two movies alongside families, friends, and in plenty of fresh air.
It is a tradition that dates back decades. The Gemini opened its doors in 1973. But the drive-in culture then was a lot different than it is now.
"It was a little wilder time back in the 70's, but a lot of things were," said Frank Smoot with the Chippewa Valley Museum.
He remembers spending his weekends seeing movies at the Gemini, what he says was a hot spot for teenagers.
Fast-forward to now and it is more family friendly. And just like the old days, plenty of activities that go beyond the movies.
"It's something I hate to see disappear, so we're hoping to revive it a little bit," said Connie Olson, who co-owns the drive-in.
She says while most of the drive-in has undergone renovation, the way you see a movie has not changed. The projector system is still original, at least for now. An HD upgrade costs about $70,000-$100,000.
And so as time passes, the movies, the technology, even the crowd may change. But the idea behind what has become an American tradition spanning decades lives on.