Mar. 24: Stardust Drive In Theatre, Watertown TN

It’s Day 83 of my virtual Drive-In-a-Day Odyssey. It only needed a short trip north to get from Woodbury TN to the Stardust Drive In Theatre in Watertown TN. It was so great to be back at a drive-in fired up for a Friday night.

The Stardust is another of those new drive-ins. According to a great article in Wilson Living Magazine, Stardust owners Barry and Dawn Floyd came up with the idea while watching the final weekend of the Gallatin’s Sumner Drive-In, which closed in 1999. They learned the technical aspects of the business, then ran into Not-In-My-Backyard resistance at a couple of sites. The TV reports reached the mayor of Watertown, who realized what an asset a new drive-in would be for the town. The Stardust opened in 2003 and added a second screen the following year.

The Stardust holds an annual Retro Classics Weekend when one of the screens gets a double feature typically from the 80s. That must be a really fun time!

It sounds like a small thing, but I really appreciate the popcorn prices at the Stardust. A small box is $2, and the sizes go up to the unreasonably huge tub at just $5. As I continued by sampling of all unusual concession stand fare, I also had a grilled ham and swiss Big Jim sandwich and some fried pickles.

Miles Today / Total:  25 / 9758 (rounded to the nearest mile)

Movie Showing / Total Active Nights: Beauty and the Beast / 44

Nearby Restaurant: I had read an article about the place, so I made sure to stop for lunch at the Nona Lisa Pizzeria. The pizza is great, but there are plenty of places to find great pizza. I don’t know anywhere else that serves Nona Bread, an appetizer of a folded crust with garlic, butter and cheese. That description doesn’t do it justice.

Where I Virtually Stayed: There’s a bed and breakfast but not any hotels in Watertown. The closest ones to the Stardust are about 10 miles away in Lebanon. I picked the Comfort Suites for a comfortable stay in a large room, followed by a breakfast with real eggs and hot multigrain waffles.

Only in Watertown: The Tennessee Central Railway Museum in Nashville runs several excursion trains annually to Watertown. The next two are the Easter Bunny Trip on April 15, followed by the town’s Spring Mile Long Yard Sale on April 22. Maybe that’s how Justin Bieber found the place; he shot his 2009 music video for One Less Lonely Girl at the Watertown square.

Next Stop: Pink Cadillac Drive In, Centerville TN.

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