Drive ins Return

The coronavirus will kill some businesses like workout facilities but revive others like drive in theaters. They are already returning in a big way to the state of Texas, but other states will follow because social distancing and drive ins are a natural pair. From about 4,000 in the 1950s, drive ins have dropped in numbers to about 300.

According to usnews.com the state with the most opened drive ins is New York with 49. New York is followed by Pennsylvania with 45. Ohio and California, a good weather state for drive ins, reportedly have 44 each. Another source reports that there are only 18 drive ins remaining in California. Texas has 20. As of 2019 only 5 states reportedly have no drive ins including Alaska and North Dakota, which is no surprise.

I am pretty familiar with 2 states. Missouri still has 9, but Washington has only 4 left with 3 of them on the Olympic Peninsula in Bremerton, Shelton, and fantastic Port Townsend. I have not been to a drive in since moving to Washington. When younger, Ruth & I went to many Missouri drive ins, like the 66 Park-in and The Airway. There were several on old Route 66, and many of them had triple features that lasted almost until dawn. I have been to none of the current 9. A great source of information about what is left is DriveInMovie.com.

According to DriveInMovie, Texas, a generally year-round state for such theaters, once had around 400 of them and held out longer than other states when drive ins began to close. It still has 20, several of which have opened since the beginning of this century. The historic ones are mostly in small towns like Clarendon. Ennis is home to the Galaxy, which opened in 2004. The Sandell in Clarendon remained opened for 29 years before closing, but it was reopened in 2002. Austin is the Texas city with the most new drive ins near it. They include the non-traditional Blue Starlite Mini Urban that opened in 2009 in Round Rock, Doc’s, which is in Buda about 15 miles south of Austin and opened in 2018, and the Globe in Hutto about 30 miles northeast that opened just this year. The Fiesta in El Paso has the distinction of being one of only 2 Adult Drive Ins left in the USA. I didn’t even know such drive ins existed and wonder how they provide privacy. Fort Worth has the well-named Coyote Drive-in that opened in 2013. The Last Drive-in Picture Show in Gatesville, however, is a true original that opened in 1950 and is still operating with never an R rated movie like The Last Picture Show shown.

Hank

About roadsrus

Since the beginning, I've had to avoid writing about the downside of travel in order to sell more than 100 articles. Just because something negative happened doesn't mean your trip was ruined. But tell that to publishers who are into 5-star cruise and tropical beach fantasies. I want to tell what happened on my way to the beach, and it may not have been all that pleasant. My number one rule of the road is...today's disaster is tomorrow's great story. My travel experiences have appeared in about twenty magazines and newspapers. I've been in all 50 states more than once and more than 50 countries. Ruth and I love to travel internationally--Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, etc. Within the next 2 years we will have visited all of the European countries. But our favorite destination is Australia. Ruth and I have been there 9 times. I've written a book about Australia's Outback, ALONE NEAR ALICE, which is available through both Amazon & Barnes & Noble. My first fictional work, MOVING FORWARD, GETTING NOWHERE, has recently been posted on Amazon. It's a contemporary, hopefully funny re-telling of The Odyssey. View all posts by roadsrus

Comments are disabled.

%d bloggers like this: