BEST PLACE TO WATCH A MOVIE OUTDOORS (2001)
Having awarded this category to the artfully programmed Stevens Square Park movies-and-music series in past years, we're not now confessing our latent preference for the likes of Gone in Sixty Seconds and Driven over, say, Thelma & Louise and Putney Swope. It's just that Gone in Sixty Seconds and Driven can be damn fun to watch through a car window with a few of your friends shouting insults at the actors through mouthfuls of stale popcorn. And with only three drive-ins remaining in the Twin Cities metro, how long will such vintage pleasures continue to be available? Of those three, the Vali-Hi Drive-In Theatre edges past the fine competition (the Cottage View and the 65-Hi) for one reason: They let you bring your own food; they even let you grill it on site if you so desire. Indeed, what better way to express your distaste for a wiener like Kevin Costner than by biting into your own brat? The Vali-Hi is open for about half the year, between April and September, the exact dates depending on the weather. The cost is $6 for adults (those 12 and under are admitted free), and the first movie--of several, during the summer months--starts just after dusk. The sound comes through your car stereo, the screen is gigantic, the crowds are ample and diverse, and the experience of being out till quarter to four in the morning suffering through the bottom of a badder-than-bad Hollywood triple bill is a curfew-breaker like no other.