Jan. 25: Brazos Drive In, Granbury TX

Brazos Drive-In screen and marquee

photo by Rob Sneed, from the Carload Flickr pool

It’s Day 25 of my virtual Drive-In-a-Day Odyssey, and although the distance from the Coyote in Fort Worth to the Brazos Drive-In of Granbury TX was about the same as the distance I’d driven the day before from the Coyote in Lewisville, it felt very different. I went from vibrant modern multi-screen urban theaters to an old-time classic single-screen.

According to CinemaTreasures, the Brazos opened in 1954, although Preservation Texas puts the date at 1952. For what it’s worth, my 1952 Theatre Catalog doesn’t include the Brazos in its drive-in census, but my 1955 version does. That Preservation Texas listing, which included the theater in its Most Endangered Places list for 2010, said the Brazos was built “with local materials by businessmen to lure people into town.” Some commenters at CinemaTreasurers added that the theater converted to digital projection by 2014, but was up for sale on eBay that November. Still, the Brazos endures.

I had a run of seven straight movie nights snapped by the Brazos, which is still closed for the season. One goal for this Odyssey is to catch at least 200 active movie nights in the 365-day year, about 55%. Picking up seven in a row in January has got to help my chances there; so far I’m at 72%.

Miles Today / Total:  40 / 2978 (rounded to the nearest mile)

Movie Showing / Total Active Nights: dark / 18

Nearby Restaurant: I do love that fried chicken, and Granbury has an excellent example of the farmhouse-style chicken restaurant: Babe’s Chicken Dinner House. Babe’s is a small regional chain, and it reminds me of metro Denver’s White Fence Farm – a comfortable, family-friendly setting, an emphasis on fried chicken, and all the green beans and sides you care to eat.

Where I Virtually Stayed: Not only is Granbury’s Hilton Garden Inn full of the usual HGI amenities, it’s got a superb view of the Brazos River. It’s a real bonus when the view from the hotel room window isn’t just a grassy field, the building next door, or somebody’s back yard.

Only in Granbury: According to KTRK, former Hood County Sheriff Gene Mayo, freshly defeated in a 2009 re-election bid, was criticized for writing “lost election/fired” on his application for unemployment benefits. A spokeswoman for the Texas Association of Counties said, “When you are elected, you are elected for a certain amount of time. That term ended.” A Texas Workforce Commission spokesperson said that serving as an elected official is not considered “employment”.

Next Stop: Graham Drive In Theatre, Graham TX.

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