Drive-in theaters replaced drive-thru theaters, known for their bargain-priced, no-frills versions of popular films, such as One Man and a Baby and Star War. Avoid cutting corners with today's Groupon: for $69, you get a VIP Producer badge to The Clearwater Film and Music Festival in Clearwater Beach (a $139 value). The festival runs from Thursday, September 22, through Sunday, September 25, with film screenings, live shows, and panel discussions taking place in locations throughout Clearwater Beach. Festival-goers holding a Producer badge enjoy access to all films and film panels, as well as the festival's opening-night gala and a private cruise party. Attendance for all events is on a first-come, first-served basis.
Lauded in its inaugural year by the Tampa Bay Examiner, The Clearwater Film and Music Festival's sophomore showcase spotlights more than 60 films from around the globe alongside diverse musical acts. This year's films include the 2011 Academy Award–winning comedic short film God Of Love, which reveals the romantic adventures of a lounge-singing darts champion, and the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival Official Selection Challenging Impossibility, which documents the uplifting transformation of one man's mind and body. The upstart festival has developed the steel-ribbon Wavecrest Awards, which honor the best director, best actor, best actress, best slow-motion jump from an exploding hot-dog stand, and more.
Those needing a break from celluloid can check out Detroit power-pop band The Romeo Flynns as they rile up the audience with cowbells and power chords, or nod along to Brooklyn hip-hopper Jae Apollo, who deploys synth beats and smart rhymes. Devotees can also attend panel discussions to mingle with cast and crew and ignite heated debates about the motion-picture industry's need for a $400 million action blockbuster about solitaire.