San Antonio native Selina Bonilla, a contributor for SA Flavor, partnered with the food blog/Fiesta medal seller to create a tribute to the drive-in.
Bonilla said her memories of going to the drive-in in her dad's truck inspired her to come up with the medal.
"But my fondest memories of the Mission Drive-In are when we would drive by at night, and I’d try to catch a glimpse of the movies playing on screen as we waited at the red light of Roosevelt and VFW Boulevard," Bonilla told the Current.
The medal is filled with meaningful details, showing her family's blue and black trucks (the latter they still own), as well as the titles of movies filmed in San Antonio on the marquee (Selena, Cloak and Dagger, Miss Congeniality and Pee Wee's Big Adventure).
The drive-in opened in 1948 and closed in 2000. Today, the space is sometimes used by Slab Cinema, allowing movie goers to instead walk in and enjoy a flick on the lawn.
"A lot has changed in recent years, but I'm hoping this medal will reignite the fond memories people have of catching a movie at the Mission Drive-In like it did for me," Bonilla said.
Bonilla, a Harlandale High School graduate, said the medal means more than just paying homage to the theatre. She said it's about representing the Southside as well.
"Being born and raised in the Southside, for me – and many other fellow Southsiders – there is this strong sense of community and pride," Bonilla said. "The Mission Drive-In has been a part of the Southside for years, and it's rich in history and culture. Even when it closed, it was still very much a staple of the place I call home."
Individual medals cost $10 with $1 going to Protecting Animals Within San Antonio (PAWS), a foster-based rescue group that teaches animal welfare education and sponsors student groups. PAWS began as a student group at Harlandale HS in 2010 and now serves the greater San Antonio area.
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