Jan. 27: Town & Country Drive-In Theatre, Abilene TX

It’s Day 27 of my virtual Drive-In-a-Day Odyssey, starting with another hour and a half or so to drive from Graham to the Town and Country Drive-In Theatre in Abilene TX. Here in Texas, I’ve seen brand-new drive-ins, and over the last two days, I’ve seen ancient, pioneering drive-ins. The Town and Country is somewhere in between.

The Town and Country wasn’t really a pioneer. When it opened in 1956, there were already six other drive-ins in Abilene: the Chief, Crescent, Elmwood, Key City (two screens), Park, and Tower. What the T&C offered was size; its 1500-car capacity was more than half of what the other seven screens in town could handle together. The T&C had two screens of its own, plus a playground with an electric Ferris wheel. It closed in 1981, but was resurrected in 2000 and has been rolling along since.

The T&C sure isn’t like the Coyotes I visited earlier this week. There were no alcoholic beverages to be found at the concession stand. On the other hand, the prices felt reasonable again; a bacon cheeseburger and the largest fountain drink they offered were only $3.50 each. This place felt a lot more like the drive-ins I visited when I was growing up.

After two dark nights, I was happy to return to a drive-in that’s showing movies in January. Of the four early movies, the only one I hadn’t seen was Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, so that was my Friday night show.

Miles Today / Total:  94 / 3158 (rounded to the nearest mile)

Movie Showing / Total Active Nights: Resident Evil: The Final Chapter / 19

Nearby Restaurant: I found another chicken dinner house a lot like the one I visited two nights ago in Granbury, but this one is called Belle’s Chicken Dinner House. Same deal though, great chicken (or chicken-fried steak) and unlimited green beans, mashed potatoes, and other fixin’s. Yum!

Where I Virtually Stayed: There were several close hotels along I-20 of the inexpensive, expedient type that didn’t match what I was looking for. It was only another mile or so to a cluster of my type of lodgings at Lake Road. I picked the newest, the Hampton Inn, because the only thing more reliable than a Hampton Inn is a brand-new Hampton Inn.

Only in Abilene: There are several sculpted items of interest clustered near Business I-20 as it runs through central Abilene. There’s the world’s largest (really) paper airplane, a flat buffalo for photo-op rides, the second-largest faux animal skull in town, a park full of Dr. Seuss character statues, and the world’s largest faux buffalo skull.

Next Stop: Stars & Stripes Drive-In Theatre, Lubbock TX.

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