We visited Disney’s Hollywood Studios the other night to take in the Osbourne Lights as well as grab a bite to eat at one of our favorite restaurants; The Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant.
If you have never experienced the Sci-Fi on one of your visits to the park, you are missing a great treat. The food is standard park fare, nothing special (although the burgers and milkshakes are good) what you visit the restaurant for, however, is atmosphere.
As I stated, the food is passable and we had a cheeseburger, cooked just right, the dip for two (combination of chili and artichoke dip) while others had a bacon cheeseburger and the kids macaroni and cheese. Although the chili was exceptionally good the artichoke dip was mostly a cheese covering over a smattering of artichoke dip; it would have been a good dish if there was more to the presentation but we really go for the atmosphere.
Dining at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant is like stepping back in time and visiting your favorite drive-in from childhood. My first memory of a drive-in was the old one on Route 35 in Hazlet, NJ where we saw Pinocchio and the Boatniks and I was hooked ever since. Sadly, the drive-ins of my youth are only memories now, except for here at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant.
What is really great about the restaurant, besides sitting in replica vehicles complete with a dashboard table and speaks, is the continuous loop of films playing on the big screen. The setting is the Hollywood Hills at sunset and you are under the stars watching your favorite B-Movie trailers. I compiled a list of the films you will see during your meal, although I could not find the movie labeled as “it” on the loop, and it is as complete as I can recall.
One of the things that is missing from the early days of the restaurant, however, is the castmember interaction. When the park opened the car-hops used to interact with these movie trailers which added another level of fun to the overall experience. Despite the lack of this value-add it is still a great place to enjoy a burger. If you get a chance, drop in for a meal on your next visit…it is worth the experience.
The Cat Who Hated People
A cat explains reason after reason why he cannot stand people, and opts to relocate to the moon. When he does, he finds characters there that make him realize people aren’t so bad after all.
- Released: 1948
- Director: Tex Avery
- Writer: Heck Allen
- Stars: Paul Frees
Attack of the Fifty Foot Woman
The story concerns the plight of Nancy Archer, a wealthy heiress whose close encounter with an enormous alien being causes her to grow into a giantess. She uses her new size and power to seek revenge against her philandering husband Harry and his mistress, Honey Parker.
- Released: 1958
- Director: Nathan Juran
- Writer: Mark Hanna
- Stars: Allison Hayes, William Hudson and Yvetter Vicker
Super Colossal Man (The Amazing Colossal Man)
The film revolves around a 60 foot mutant man produced as the result of an atomic accident.
- Released: 1957
- Director: Bert I. Gordon
- Writers: Mark Hanna, Bert I. Gordon
- Stars: Glenn Langan, Cathy Downs and William Hudson
The Horror of Party Beach
A small U.S. East Coast beach town experiences a wave of attacks from water plants and dead human tissue mutated from radioactive waste. They coalesce into humanoid form by attaching themselves to skeletons in a shipwreck and immediately proceed to hunt down and kill mostly young women, as is common in the horror films of this era.
- Released: 1964
- Director: Del Tenney
- Writer: Richard Hilliard
- Stars: John Scott, Alice Lyon and Allan Laurel
The Giant Gila Monster
This low-budget B-Movie featured a cast of unknown actors, and the effects included a live gila monster filmed on a scaled-down model landscape. The movie has been released on DVD and is considered a cult classic.
- Released: 1959
- Director: Ray Kellogg
- Writer: Ray Kellogg, Jay Simms
- Stars: Don Sullivan, Fred Graham and Lisa Simone
Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster
All of the women on the planet Mars have died in an atomic war, except for Martian Princess Marcuzan. Marcuzan and her right hand man, Dr. Nadir, decide they will travel to Earth and steal all of the women on the planet in order to continue the Martian race.
- Released: 1965
- Director: Robert Gaffney
- Writer: R.H.W. Dillard, George Garret
- Stars: Marilyn Hanold, James Karen and Lou Cutell
Plan 9 From Outer Space
The plot of the film is focused on extraterrestrial beings who are seeking to stop humans from creating a doomsday weapon that would destroy the universe. In the course of doing so, the aliens implement “Plan 9”, a scheme to resurrect Earth’s dead as what modern audiences would consider zombies (called “ghouls” in the film itself) to get the planet’s attention, causing chaos.
- Released: 1958
- Director: Edward D. Wood, Jr.
- Writer: Edward D. Wood, Jr.
- Stars: Gergory Walcott, Tom Keene and Bela Lugosi
Tom & Jerry Mouse Into Space
Jerry, tired of Tom’s repeated attempts to kill him, leaves the house to join the space program. Tom tries to convince Jerry to stay, but to no avail.
- Released: 1962
- Director: Gene Deitch
- Writer: Tod Dockstader
- Stars: Tom Cat, Jerry the Mouse
Invasion of the Saucer men
Invasion of the Saucer Men (also known as Invasion of the Hell Creatures) is a 1957 sci-fi comedy film where teenage couple, Johnny Carter and Joan Haydon, driving down lover’s lane without headlights, accidentally run down one of the aliens.
- Released: 1957
- Director: Edward L. Cahn
- Writer: Paul W. Fairman, Robert J. Gurney, Jr.
- Stars: Steven Terrell, Gloria Castillo and Frank Gorshin
The evil alien “Ro-Man” has destroyed all but eight humans on Earth with his death ray, the “Calcinator”. Survivors include a family of five, a scientist, and two unseen assistants to the scientist in a spacecraft bound for an orbiting space platform carrying a garrison of human soldiers. All eight have developed an immunity to the death ray as a side effect of an antibiotic serum developed by the scientist.
- Released: 1953
- Director: Phil Tucker
- Writer: Wyott Ordung
- Stars: George Nader, Gregory Moffett and Claudia Barrett
Catwomen of the Moon in 3d
An expedition to the Moon encounters a race of “Cat-women”, the last eight survivors of a 2-million-year-old civilization deep within a cave where they have managed to maintain the remnants of a breathable atmosphere that once covered the Moon. The remaining air will soon be gone and they must escape if they are to survive. They plan to steal the expedition’s space ship and return to Earth.
- Released: 1953
- Director: Arthur Hilton
- Writer: Al Zimbalist, Jack Rabin
- Stars: Sonny Tufts, Victor Jory and Marie Windsor
Missile to the Moon
Two escaped convicts are caught hiding in a rocket by a scientist who forces them to pilot the ship to the Moon. Another scientist and his fiancée find themselves on board at the moment of launch, but the original scientist is killed during a meteor storm. Once on the Moon, they encounter an underground kingdom of scantily-clad women and their sinister female ruler The Ledo, as well as giant spiders and rock creatures.
- Released: 1958
- Director: Richard E. Cunha
- Writer: H.E. Barrie, Vincent Fotre
- Stars: Richard Travis, Cathy Downs and K.T. Stevens