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Transportation (September 20-24, 2006)

C B ArunKumar

Ferry Boats at the Gateway of India

Bryant Arnett

Friday Night at the Drive-In

Bob's Big Boy, Toluca Lake, California, USA

Friday, September 22, 2006 | 7:22 pm PDT

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© 2006 Bryant Arnett, All Rights Reserved.



As a kid growing up in the late 60's, I remember my parents packing me and my sister into the station wagon, and driving down into Glendale to visit the "Drive-In Restaurant" known as Bob's Big Boy. A "Drive-In" is very different place from the "drive-through" establishment we see so often today. Back in the 50's and 60's, the idea of eating while driving was unheard of, and the notion that anyone was in such big a hurry that they couldn't stop to eat, had not quite taken hold. 

The idea was simple. You pulled your car up to a parking space, and a waitress (known as a Car Hop) would come and take your order right at your car. After a short time, she would return with the food on a special tray that rested outside your car, attached to the side window. Dad would then pass the stuff around to everyone in the car and we would have a great family dinner.  

Since then, the Bob's in Glendale (It was the original, built in 1937) has been replaced by a mini-mall. The unfortunate effects of weather (even here in Los Angeles) and a changing social climate, led to the demise of the Drive-In over the last few decades. 

Fortunately, Bob's Big Boy in Toluca Lake (a section of Burbank) is still going strong. They have revived Car Hop service on the weekends and have a car show every friday night. This is the oldest surviving Bob's Big Boy, built in 1949. It is situated in the heart of Burbank's media district and is a short distance from major movie and television studios like Warner Bros., Disney, Universal, and NBC.

It's also only about three blocks from my own Audio Post Production Studio, so when I had a chance to take a dinner break friday night (I was working late), I jumped in the car and drove down to Bob's. I had a tough time finding a parking space and had to drive around the block a few times (nobody walks in LA). The parking lot was packed with amazing cars. Many more than can be seen in my photograph. However, the lighting was the best right here beside this beautiful vintage red Corvette, so I planted myself and took this one picture. It was the only one I took all weekend. I had to get back to work, so I didn't have time to eat. I will need to drive in some other time for a burger, when I have the time. 


Minolta Dimage Z1 (3.2 megapixel camera with a 28mm equivalent wide angle adaptor) sitting on a custom made pano bracket which sits on my generic "Cheapo-Brand" tripod. PTgui 6 (for Mac OSX) used for stitching, Photoshop CS used for tweaking, CubicConverter used for conversion to QTVR. This VR Photo is my first one post-processed on a 100% Macintosh platform. Good-bye Windows!

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