Park and Play

Back in the early to late-1980's going to the drive-in movie theater was something my family did maybe once or twice a month during the spring an summer hours.

We had a large theater about a mile from our home, near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border, that was also a small - very small- amusement park as well. It had miniature golf, bumper cars, watercraft bumper cars, a merry-go-round, and other small rides. The screen closed several years before the rides and putt-putt course did, which caused us to travel over the Pennsylvania border to another theater just a few more miles away.

The farther theater was much more fun because that means we were closer to one of my favorite childhood places...Riley's Fun Spot!

Located in New Castle, PA., Riley's was a place for kids of all ages. It had batting cages, putt-putt, archery, a playground, concession stand, and more! Across the street were two go-cart tracks: one for younger kids, and a much faster track for older kids. Most of the time, at least until my early teens, I was on the slower track. But once I got to the faster carts...LOOK OUT!

Sadly, the theaters didn't (at least to my recollection) last into the 90's, and Riley's Fun Spot closed sometime in the late-90's early-2000's. The last remnants of the drive-in theater amusement park near my house closed sometime in the mid-90's.

It kind of troubles me to think back at these places and remember the good times I had with family and friends. We took many weekend trips to see movies, hit baseballs, try to hit little balls into holes across fake grass, eat ice cream, and drive small carts like we were in a death race. Those were definitely the good-ole-days.

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