Salton Sea - Kevin Key Photography - San Diego, California
Star Trails and a Drive-In Movie

Star Trails and a Drive-In Movie

This mock drive-in theater was created as part of the Bombay Beach Biennale, a "secret" art festival, now in its second year, that's been described as a cross between an art conference and Burning Man.

The lights on the sign are real, but they're actually battery-powered LED lamps designed to give the warm glow of old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs. At first I thought the lights around the sign weren't really operational and were just light bulbs glued in place. Upon closer examination, I found out the battery packs and wires leading to the lights. I went to the only open store in town, bought some size AA batteries, returned to the sign, installed the new batteries, and voila!

I simulated the image on the screen as there is no working projector here.

Back in the 1960s, Bombay Beach was the kind of Salton Sea resort town where celebrities such as The Beach Boys would spend their weekends sunbathing and waterskiing. Today, it's a town of mostly dilapidated double-wides, nine blocks deep and five blocks wide. There are just over 100 full-time residents, and two bars to keep their thirst quenched.