A to Z April Challenge

During the month of April I will be doing a different spin on my memoir posts. It starts with a song. Each song will be followed by a brief essay that is evoked or inspired by that song. You might want to click on the YouTube link to hear the song as you read the piece I've written. Or you can listen to the song lyrics first and then read. Whichever way you choose, I mostly hope you'll read and leave a comment with your thoughts about my post. Thank you for visiting and please follow the blog if you are not doing so already.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Quesnel, British Columbia

Casbar Motel and Drive-in Quesnel, BC
Delcampe. net

          About three quarters of the way between Kamloops and Prince George, British Columbia was a rather peculiar claim in the town of Quesnel.

         "The World's Largest T.V. Screen" was the blaring sign over a retro-looking 1950s era establishment called the Casbar Motel.  The place was not particularly run-down, but it was old looking.  I knew that one day I would have to stay there.

           It was in the summer of 1986 when that day came.  I had decided to make reservations to stay at the Casbar following our show in Prince George.   We would be wrapped up with our show by 9:30 that night so the hour or so drive to Quesnel would not put us there overly late. Staying at the Casbar was doable.

         The gimmick at the Casbar was that there was a drive-in movie theater incorporated with the motel and that was the "T.V." screen.  Each room had a large picture window that faced toward the screen and there were speakers in the rooms over which the film soundtrack was piped.  The biggest problem here was that the motel was a ways  past the last row of cars and the screen itself was rather distant.  The entire set-up gave film viewers a sense of disconnect that was not particularly conducive to enjoying a film.

         The rooms themselves were furnished in an incongruous mash-up of what had originally been there since who knows when and what had been scrounged up from wherever such things are found.  I felt as though I were in a musty small town museum display of "this is what things were like in the 1950s".    I won't say the place was filthy, but the oldness of everything reflected years of previous guests who had stayed in that place. Since I had stayed in worse places I was not particularly taken aback by the situation.

       One of the films showing that night was Romancing the Stone with Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner.  We kind of watched it, but with the screen so far away and it being so late it was kind of difficult to really get into the film.  One of the problems with going to the drive-in theater that far north in late July is that it doesn't get dark until after 10 PM.  A drive-in movie runs very late.  After a long day of driving over 300 miles to Prince George and then back to Quesnel we were tired.

       At least I got to stay at the Casbar.  The prospect of "the world's largest T.V. screen was too curious to pass up.  It's not a place that I'd ever go again to watch a movie, but on the other hand I doubt whether the Casbar is there anymore.

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welcome to my world of poetry said...

This was great to read Lee, you always find something of interest to write about. I envy you.


Lynn Proctor said...

sounds like a place where an movie at the drive in theater would take place--great post

Cheryl Klarich said...

What a great location for a story to take place! (plot lines swiling round my head...)

I have a good friend who lives near Vancouver; I would love to visit sometime.

Haddock said...

Each phase has its time I suppose.
I remember the first Open air theater that was opened in Bombay and it fizzled out within an year.

deanna said...

Checking in to see what you're up to. Great posts of different places! I hope the memory lanes are giving you joy.

Andy David said...

Dear Lee,
This was very interesting indeed. You had my attention from the start.

Arlee Bird said...

Yvonne -- I try my best to keep things interesting.

Lynn-- I guess it was as good of a place for a drive-in as anywhere. But those late night starts were a bit difficult.

Cheryl -- It would be a good setting for a story.

Haddock -- Drive-ins used to be all the rage. I think the more entertainment options and the better quality offered in theaters were too many to keep people coming to drive-in movies.

Deanna -- And I hope that readers are enjoying the journey.

Andy -- Thanks for visiting.


November Rain - k~ said...

What a fun experience though. The place sounds rich in nostalgia, and that for me would mean inspiration. It's too bad it wasn't closer to the "T.V." screen, it might have been pretty neat to watch a movie from the motel room.

In from the A-Z trek:
Haiku From A-Z