Jan. 21: The Last Drive-In Picture Show, Gatesville TX

It’s Day 21 of my virtual Drive-In-a-Day Odyssey, with another medium drive, almost exactly 100 miles from Austin to The Last Drive-In Picture Show of Gatesville TX.

There has been a drive-in at this location since 1950. My 1952 Theatre Catalog lists it as the Circle S, and later it was known as the Town & Country. I’m guessing it was renamed after The Last Picture Show, a 1971 classic film about a Texas town that’s fading away. Hopefully it was renamed ironically.

The Last Drive-In Picture Show is a great deal, with a double feature for just $10 a carload and reasonable concession prices. If the weather had been bad, I could have visited the attached indoor theater to watch the latest xXx installment (Vin Diesel, not Sorority Cheerleaders). But it was a perfect night, clear and about 60 degrees.

Thank goodness that the one outdoor screen, though it didn’t have a new release, was at least showing something worth seeing again. The early movie was Moana, which I hadn’t seen in over two weeks, followed by Rogue One.

Miles Today / Total:  100 / 2729 (rounded to the nearest mile)

Movie Showing / Total Active Nights: Moana / 15

Nearby Restaurant: Just north of the Last Drive-In Picture Show is Rancher’s Steak House and Grill, serving pretty much a little bit of everything. I was grateful for the fine salad bar, and I just had to try the pecan pie for dessert.

Where I Virtually Stayed: The Holiday Inn Express is practically next door to the drive-in, and it’s brand new. (You can see it under construction in the Google Street View from October 2015.) It was a solid HIE experience that still had that new car smell. And warm cinnamon rolls at breakfast.

Only in Gatesville: The Coryell Museum and Historical Center in Gatesville is home to the Mitchell Spur Collection. Former Gatesville High School coach Lloyd Mitchell amassed thousands of spurs, donated to the museum upon his death. In 2001, the Texas Legislature designated Gatesville the “Spur Capital of the Texas.”

Next Stop: Galaxy Drive-In Movie Theatre, Ennis TX.

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