Mar. 14: Sand Mountain Twin Drive-In Theater, Boaz AL

It’s Day 73 of my virtual Drive-In-a-Day Odyssey. I returned to Alabama for the first time for the first time in almost two months, driving two hours from Estill Springs TN to the Sand Mountain Twin Drive-In Theater in Boaz AL.

The Sand Mountain Twin opened in 1996. It was purchased by Frank’s Entertainment a decade later. Digital conversion came in around January 2015. Unlike most drive-ins, the Sand Mountain always charges admission by the carload. According to Tieka’s Blog, it offered a free meal ticket to every customer for its all-night Halloween bash in October 2015.

In a 2010 article on AL.com, manager Michael Morrison said that little towns have the lower land prices that make drive-ins possible. “Alabama has a lot of rural areas that aren’t gobbled up by the cities, and (drive-in owners) can afford to buy land,” Morrison said. “If this land here were in the middle of Huntsville, they couldn’t afford this property.”

The Sand Mountain is only open Friday through Sunday at this time of year, so after two nights in a row of getting to see a movie, I had to retire early.

Miles Today / Total:  101 / 9197 (rounded to the nearest mile)

Movie Showing / Total Active Nights: dark / 41

Nearby Restaurant: Good thing I got here in time for lunch, because that’s about the only time that The Mill Street Deli is open. Everyone raves about their sandwiches, but I was contrary enough to order a chef’s salad with buffalo chicken strips instead. Part of me thought I was eating healthy, but another part knew I was saving room for dessert.

Where I Virtually Stayed: The Econo Lodge in Boaz has the chain’s usual low price, but it happens to be one of the best Econo Lodges anywhere. It certainly felt like one of the newest. My room was clean and comfortable, and I got just enough breakfast to get started in the morning.

Only in Boaz: Just up the road is Albertville, home of the Mueller Company, which makes fire hydrants. As documented by the Encyclopedia of Alabama, Mueller’s one-millionth hydrant has been nickel-plated and is on display near the Albertville Chamber of Commerce, celebrating the city’s reputation as the “Fire Hydrant Capital of the World.”

Next Stop: 411 Twin Drive In, Centre AL.

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