October 28, 2013

Writer to mine nostalgia as Saco Drive-in turns 75

Images are sought for a new book detailing its history.

By Deborah Sayer dsayer@pressherald.com
News Assistant

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And the memory of these outings is precisely what Smalley is hoping to capture and include in her upcoming book.

“Now that we have successfully saved the Saco Drive-In, courtesy of Honda’s Project Drive-In, it’s imperative we save our oral and photographic history,” said Smalley. “This book will tell the story of the Saco Drive-In as it relates to the history of Saco and how that fits into the greater context of the car culture, recreation and the growth of Saco’s tourist economy.”

“We’d love to hear from people or families who attended the Saco Drive-in, especially from the 1940s through the 1960s when it was a popular pastime,” said Smalley. “But we also want to include the remembrances of all generations who went there.”

Russell agreed, adding, “Its imperative we save all aspects of the drive-in, from the physical projector to our patrons’ experiences here at the theater. Camille wants to capture the experience holistically, through written memories and photographs.”

Smalley noted that the most difficult part of her project has been finding corresponding photographs relevant to the drive-in experience, such as children playing and people socializing amid a backdrop of period automobiles.

Previous attempts to cull those images from museums and other historical archiving organizations have only yeilded images of the drive-in’s big screen – not people or the cars that help tell the story.

Now, Smalley is appealing to the public to submit old photos they may have featuring scenes or people at past outings to the Saco Drive-in.

“They must exist in someone’s attic, photo album or scrapbook,” said Smalley.

Community members are encouraged to dig into their old photographs and jot down some of their memories.

Smalley will convert the images to a digital format and return the original, along with a free digital copy of the image to owners within a two-week period.

Those images should be submitted by the Jan. 31, 2014 deadline.

Written or oral memory submissions can be emailed to Smalley at csmalley@sacomuseum.org. Call 283-3861 Ext. 113 with questions.

For more details, go to www.dyerlibrarysacomuseum.org.

Staff Writer Deborah Sayer can be contacted at 791-6308 or at:dsayer@pressherald.comdsayer@pressherald.com


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