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The tremendous opening box-office weekend of Fifty Shades of Grey proves that combining notoriety and curiosity can create a lucrative sum of money. However, it seems that its controversy is not being fully contained within the darkened walls of a movie theater. No, it appears that this heavily hyped bit of lascivious celluloid has invaded a busy California highway and a nearby Go Kart Track. It turns out that kids and the pious patrons who attend the mini motor racetrack have a plain view to the screen of an adjacent drive-in movie theater playing the BDSM bonanza... and there are a lot of people who are unhappy about it.
According to Sacramento’s KCRA 3, nightly showings of Fifty Shades of Grey seem to add one more kinky aspect to the film’s repertoire for drive-in theaters: public exhibitionism. (Nine ½ Weeks is now officially pissed.) It seems that for the K1 Speed indoor go-kart facility, patrons who happen to find themselves outside the property at a certain time of night can catch quite the explicit glimpse of some Fifty Shades goodness, courtesy of the adjacent Westwind Drive-In theater. Yes, folks of all ages have been getting a glimpse of the film’s now-infamous displays of alternative methods of sexuality.
While it’s tempting to take the "cool uncle" argument about people being too uptight, for parents of young children who might happen to be present at the Go Kart track during a screening, certain scenes in Fifty Shades of Grey might represent the longest, most awkward 20 minutes of their lives. While the exposure is hardly radioactive - as kids probably only glimpse sporadic seconds of the sex-filled film, it’s an understandable gripe for parents to resent being forced into explaining to young children what’s happening on the screen across the way - especially given the unconventional nature of the scenes.
Even beyond the go-karts, apparently the drive-in theater screenings of Fifty Shades of Grey are causing a bit of a ruckus. The same screens are apparently also clearly visible from the local Highway 50, where drivers are reportedly being distracted by the ribald romp taking place in the corners of their eyes. This is especially problematic and dangerous for people who are commuting on the busy road having to worry about other drivers distracted by the titanic trysts taking place on the big screen. Certainly, a death by Fifty Shades-related car wreck would be about as sad/lame of a way to leave this world as anything.
The Westwind Drive-In has apparently made their attempt to fix the neighborhood problem by changing the location of the screen that shows Fifty Shades so that it won’t be so easily glimpsed by people who are not directly on the premises. (Which also has The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water playing on the other screen.) However, for the young folks and often-offended adults, the damage may be irreparable. As far as we know, soap does not work as well to make kids un-see dirty things as it does to wash out dirty mouths.
Fifty Shades of Grey is currently riding a tingly, kind of painful, undulating wave of success at the box-office, and is most certainly showing at a theater near you. (Just try not to make eye contact with other people.)