"We go to drive-ins all the time," says 23-year-old Arron Lorenz of his family, which includes father Randy, stepmother Terri, and half-siblings Nicholas, 13, and Courtney, 9. "It's one thing we can do together where we don't have to be quiet."

Maquoketa's 61 Drive-in America's first drive-in theatre - which was also the world's first drive-in theatre - opened on June 6, 1933, and the act of watching movies from one's car proved so enduringly popular that now, 75 years later, hundreds of drive-ins can be found in locations all across the country.

Then again, there used to be thousands.

Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis in King Corn Kathryn Allen serves as the chief organizer for the Quad Cities' third-annual Environmental Film Festival, and when we sat down for a recent interview, she described the turnout for 2006's inaugural program as "pretty good - we had probably about 100 people, and we were ecstatic. We thought that was just great.


Best Actress Marion Cotillard At the 100-minute mark of Sunday night's 200-minute Academy Awards telecast, Forest Whitaker strode onstage to announce the winner of Best Actress, and I found myself making the same silent plea over and over: Give it to Marion Cotillard ... give it to Marion Cotillard ... .

No Country for Old Men Let's begin with a caveat: I'm not very good as this Oscar-guessing thing. So if you're planning to use my predictions to help win your annual Academy Awards pool, you should know that two years in a row now, I've only guessed correctly in 15 out of 24 categories, giving me an average of .625 - a moderately underwhelming record.

Then again, if that were my batting average in professional baseball, I'd be a god, so I'm pressing ahead.

Sugar The Sundance Institute has spent two decades building what is widely recognized as the world's premier showcase for American and international independent films. The Utah film festival - with more than 50,000 attendees - converges on the ski town of Park City each January.

Best Picture nominee JunoAmerican Gangster (R, on DVD February 19) - Back in November, I made an early prediction that Ridley Scott's underwhelming opus would not only be nominated for but win Best Picture and Director. Man, I'm glad my precognition abilities suck. The only nods tallied were for Best Art Direction and Supporting Actress contender Ruby Dee, making her five minutes the shortest amount of nominated screen time in Oscar history. Dee probably won't win, but she would've taken Best Bitch-Slap in a walk.


Reader issue #665 Let me set the scene for you:

Amish reaction to a school shooting in their community Near the anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, spiritual-documentary filmmaker Martin Doblmeier conducted a survey on his Web site (http://www.journeyfilms.com). He asked whether people supported constructing a "garden of forgiveness" at Ground Zero in New York City.

Thousands of votes later, the results were overwhelming: Roughly 95 percent of respondents said "no."

Reader issue #653 In 1989, area natives Kelly and Tammy Rundle moved to Los Angeles in the hopes of jump-starting their movie-making careers, armed with little more than a title for their nascent production company: Fourth Wall Films.

And in the spring of 2007, after the release of their first, mostly self-financed feature, and with a second film nearing completion, the married couple took the next logical step.

They moved back here.