Jan. 15: Summer, Memphis TN

It’s Day 15 of my virtual Drive-In-a-Day Odyssey, and I stopped in Memphis TN so my long drive to Texas tomorrow will be a little bit shorter. (The drive from Iuka MS took only about two hours.) This also gave me the chance to check out the Summer Drive-In on a Sunday night.

Thank goodness I broke my string of dark drive-ins. The “Summer Quartet” (as its web site calls its four screens) is open Friday through Sunday in winter. All four of the early movies were films I hadn’t seen yet – Patriot’s Day, The Bye Bye Man, Hidden Figures, and Sleepless. Given a choice, I’ll take the movie that seems the least like a drive-in movie, so I’ll be less likely to encounter it later in the week. Hidden Figures was the best bet.

A Summer Drive-In opened in 1948, but not this one. As well described in a Memphis Magazine article, a 670-car theater with red lights on the speaker poles stayed in business until 1966, when it was sold to land developers. The Malco Summer Twin opened farther east on Summer Avenue, also in 1966, and later expanded to four screens.

Miles Today / Total:  108 / 1313 (rounded to the nearest mile)

Movie Showing / Total Active Nights: Hidden Figures / 10

Nearby Restaurant: The closest, best restaurant was Vietnamese Lotus Restaurant, where the portions were large for a single diner, but the fresh, authentic taste made the wait worth it.

Where I Virtually Stayed: There’s a cluster of motels just east of the Summer on I-40. From that group, the La Quinta Inn & Suites was the most highly recommended, so that’s what I chose. The price was reasonable, breakfast was solid, and I was ready to set out on one of the longest drives of this odyssey.

Only in Memphis: According to The Tennessean, state Attorney General Herbert Slatery told the Memphis city council in 2015 that it couldn’t subpoena investigative records of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation because of a missing comma. State law allows release of the records “only in compliance with a subpoena or an order of a court of record.” Without a comma after “subpoena,” only court-related subpoenas work, not those issued by any city council.

Next Stop: Sky Vue Drive-In / Apache Drive-In, Tyler TX.

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