Drive-In to the PAC Picture Show

Cherity (our Super Mom), learned about the PAC Picture Show on Facebook and reserved us a spot – at Newport’s pop up drive-in theater.  We were fortunate to attend the opening night with a presentation of the iconic Raiders of the Lost Ark.  Three months of little activity outside of the house: something to get excited about! Big shout out to the PAC, OCCA and the person whose brain ignited this retro cool concept. Overall, we had a super fun night!

On June 6, 2008 the flag flying over the U.S. Capitol commemorated the 75th birthday of a distinctive slice of Americana: the drive-in movie theater. On that day in 1933, the first theater for the auto-bound, people paid 25 cents per car as well as per person to see the first under the stars. (The Smithsonian)

The Newport Performing Arts Center has set up an easy to navigate website that will walk you through the process of getting your reservation. Due to the popularity – I would recommend that you make a reservation.  I have retraced the process on the PAC website, and it seems as little tricky (for me anyway) to make the reservation:  note that you need to click on the picture of the movie you want watch to navigate to the reservation page with “vehicle type”. (

Both of our family vehicles fit the “SUV” category. As a result, our reservation placed us in the back row. Makes sense because larger vehicles will block smaller vehicles. While the PAC parking lot does have a slight incline and the movie screen is mounted about as high on the Performing Art Center as possible – the screen is not large like a commercial drive in theater. This video should illustrate.

When my last pair of glasses broke I shuffled through my box of back ups. I found an old set that were slightly awkward but seemed to provide enough safety and functionality. Time lapse several months. A little bit of a struggle to observe the finer details. Crack that whip Indiana!

My vision is not the best and I am currently wearing an older glasses prescription. I found myself straining to see the finer details on the screen. If you are like me, I might recommend reserving your evening in the “sedan” category. Closer proximity will provide a more cinematic experience. Justin Gleeson, the PAC’s lead technician has really nailed the audio. Sound was full spectrum and dynamic.

Not surprisingly, we are seeing a drive-in revival of sorts during this time. Google it and you will see what I mean. For example, “For Drive-In Theaters, an Unexpected Revival A retro tradition get a (temporary) boost from social-distancing edicts.” According to the article “Every state has a drive-in movie theater except Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Louisiana and North Dakota.” Apparently, there are about 305 left in the United States.

On our next visit we are considering sitting in the back of the vehicle and opening the tail gate. Several times we had to run the car to unfog our windshield which also turned on our running lights. Cherity checked the manual and figured it out. Box checked. My wife reads directions. I struggle, however.

Last year while heading to Portland, we passed The Vintages Trailer Resort and then Newburg’s 99-W Drive-In. At the time, we thought it might be cool to stay a weekend at The Vintages and catch a drive-in movie at the 99. This drive-in was a new concept for Reed and we were looking forward to introducing him to the experience. According to Wiki “The drive-in’s peak popularity came in the late 1950s and early 1960s, particularly in rural areas, with over 4,000 drive-ins spread across the United States in 1958.”

I hope more families in our community get the opportunity to enjoy our “parking lot theater”.  The audio quality was excellent. We brought our popcorn and treats: bringing your own food is a big savings from a traditional theater experience. Occasionally, the window fogged up. And, it was a little late for our team. If we had toothpicks, I might have used them to prop my eye lids open! What a great time, though. Sharing the experience, socially distanced, next to the ocean, under the stars.

PAC Staff on top of it, literally. Randy Storms on the lift “striking a pose” for maximum effect. You can see his aerial photo on the cover page of the PAC picture show website.

Please consider making a financial contribution, if possible. Your donation in any amount supports the OCCA and helps us to fulfill our mission of celebrating, promoting, and developing community arts. Donate $15 or more and receive a reserved parking space as a ‘thank you’ for supporting the arts on the Oregon Coast!

Parents are the First Teachers

I had the opportunity this week to talk to Saka Coy (IMH-E®), Program Supervisor for the County’s Parents as Teachers program – part of the suite of services in Maternal Child Health which also includes Babies First Home Visits, Women Infants and Children, Family Connects among other wonderful assets available to the community.

“They may forget what you said but they will never forget how you made them feel.” — Carl W. Buehner

Saka and I recorded both a County Connections radio show for broadcast the following morning on KNPT Radio (archived online) and then filmed a direct message to parents acknowledging the increased difficulty they may be experiencing during our COVID-19. Her message in the video below emphasized the necessity of emotional bonding, intimacy and simply being present for our kids.

Easier said than done, at least, for me. My adult brain and aspirations must share space with my long-forgotten child brain necessities  Why is it so challenging to just “be” with my kid? How hard could playing Legos or digging in the dirt for hours really be? Yet, we both need structure and boundaries to remind us that binging on Oreos, endless screen time and lack of sleep will lessen our resilience and emotional temperament.  

Our audio recording is available online for review. (

Parents as Teachers is a service of tremendous value – before, during and after COVID. There is a waiting list, at this time. But, don’t hesitate to make the call yourself or recommend this opportunity to parents you know.  Call (541) 265-0436. In the interim,  visit the national website ( It has accessible resources that can be utilized immediately – in English and Spanish.

Parents a Teachers “Promotes the optimal early development, learning and health of children by supporting and engaging their parents and caregivers.” During normal circumstances parent educators visit families in the comfort of their homes if they choose. Parents may also meet educators in other desired locations if this option is more comfortable. Currently, many meetings are being conducted online and over the phone.

Parent educators work with caregivers from birth until age four to promote early development and help get children ready for school. Participation is voluntary and there is no cost. Essential aspects of the guidance provided include:

  • Promoting the interaction between parent and child
  • Caregiver and child bonding
  • Activities and games that are easily duplicated at home with household materials
  • Goal setting and planning
  • Completing developmental screenings (Ages and Stages Questionnaires)
  • Complete additional health and wellness screenings
  • Referrals to services (Head Start, Self-Sufficiency, etc.)

Family Fun Time another aspect of the program is an opportunity to meet and connect with other families. While this option is currently not available due to COVID these scheduled activities are available at public libraries throughout the County – details on the County’s website – when “normal” resumes.

Saka ‘s message for parents during our challenging atmosphere. I love her passion for the work. We both share a recognition of Brene Brown, “Trust is earned in the smallest of moments. It is earned not through heroic deeds, or even highly visible actions, but through paying attention, listening, and gestures of genuine care and connection.

My conversations with Saka and previous experiences filming County nurses during Babies First Home Visits illustrate their high degree of passion, empathy and trained technical skill.  Saka holds a Infant Mental Health Endorsement. “The IMH‐E process involves verifying that an applicant has attained appropriate education, worked in specialized professional services, received specialized mentoring/supervision in infant mental health work and has attained the specialized infant mental health skills to deliver high quality, culturally sensitive, relationship‐focused services. “

Additionally, “Research clearly demonstrates that early promotion of healthy social emotional development has a positive impact on children’s physical and mental health, school readiness, academic performance and lifelong learning, productivity and success.” (Sroufe et al. 2005, McClelland & Tominey 2014, Mischel 2014, Moffit et al. 2011).”

Talking to Saka reminded me of my early days of parenting. If only I had known about this program – what an asset it would have been! When we were new to the game a coworker/dad said to me “I think my kid’s personalities were pretty much forged by the age of five.” During my journey, I have since found myself telling other new and anticipating parents that the first years are critical: embrace the intimacy and set aside many of your other aspirations. Think of parenting as any other profession that requires expertise and continued education. Get dialed in. Thankfully, my wife, an incredible mother, books and my own education prepared me to dig in to that critical developmental window.  We put in the work those first five years. Our son who is nine seems to be thriving.

Reed at age two. How time flies. I do miss those moments when packing paper and masking tape were simple tools of creative engagement. Now, it’s a tug of war with the allure of Minecraft. What gifts will parenting bring next?

Yet, this “stay at home” and home school experience has challenged me. It has been difficult to work from home and simultaneously provide the guidance and mentorship I know is best. I try an imagine how much more difficult this would have been for us if COVID was happening in his early childhood.

I am writing here and now because if I could turn back the clock and jump into a time machine I would have signed up for Parents as Teachers. I think our culture is indeed wise to recognize and provide such services for our community. It might not be evident that these early years are the foundation until you’ve witnessed the brilliance, innocence, and need of companionship children desire.  Even then, parenting is both hard and rewarding. Why not learn learn new strategies and tactics to optimize our children’s health, well being and future potential? Guidance is a phone call away. And, the timing could not be better.  Good luck fellow parents. Hang in there!