Feb. 18: Sacramento 6 Drive-In, Sacramento CA

photo by Mitch O, from the Carload Flickr pool

It’s Day 49 of my virtual Drive-In-a-Day Odyssey, and it took me two and a half hours and a half to drive southeast from Lakeport to the Sacramento 6 Drive-In in Sacramento CA. It was pretty safe from the Oroville Dam area flooding once I got on I-5.

The Sacramento opened in 1972, when there were already at least six competitors in town. By the 2000s, it was limping forward as the sole survivor. According to a California Public Radio story, it almost closed in 2008 in favor of a retail development, but the Great Recession ended those plans. The theater operator, West Wind, renovated and modernized the drive-in, but CPR cautions that “When the market is right, the theater will once again face demolition.”

According to a commenter on Cinema Treasures, the Sacramento had a 34-week engagement of the original Star Wars in 1977-78, tied for “the longest drive-in run of Star Wars in the United States.” I remember an indoor theater in Kansas that ran Star Wars for one full year, so I can definitely believe the Sacramento’s achievement.

The Great Wall makes a great drive-in movie, and I was glad it was one of the choices available early. I hope I don’t have to see it too many more times, though.

Miles Today / Total:  135 / 5706 (rounded to the nearest mile)

Movie Showing / Total Active Nights: The Great Wall / 36

Nearby Restaurant: The closest restaurant is the Pho Bac Hoa Viet on Bradshaw Road. (There are several Pho Bac Hoa Viets in Sacramento.) Fine Vietnamese food, served up fast and ready to go. A great place to stop since I was back in the bustle of the city.

Where I Virtually Stayed: I couldn’t find anything suitable close by, but there’s a large cluster of pretty good places just four miles east on the Lincoln Highway to Rancho Cordova. The hotel I picked was the Fairfield Inn, because those are pretty dependable with a good free breakfast.

Only in Sacramento: Outside the state capitol building is a permanent memorial plaque for Senator Capitol Kitty, a friendly, feral, black cat that lived on the state capitol grounds for 13 years. She became such a celebrity that former First Lady Sharon Davis wrote a fictional children’s book about her, entitled “The Adventures of Capitol Kitty.” The cat was also known as Senator Kitty, as she preferred to sit outside the Senate wing of the Capitol.

Next Stop: El Rancho Drive-In 4, Sparks NV.

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