June 2: Pheasant City Drive-In Theatre, Redfield SD

Aerial photo of the entire Pheasant City Drive-in lot

photo from the Pheasant City Drive-In Facebook page

It’s Day 153 of my virtual Drive-In-a-Day Odyssey. As I zigzag to find open drive-ins, I headed north from Gregory SD for a three-hour drive to the Pheasant City Drive-In Theatre just north of Redfield.

According to the Pheasant City’s history page, it opened in August 1953 as the Sioux Drive-In. It was the fourth Sioux of Dan Peterson’s State Theatre Company, joining its brothers in Brookings, Pierre, and Rapid City.

Don and Kay Archer bought Redfield’s Sioux in 1963. Kay’s parents had operated the drive-in, and the Rainbow Drive-In in Gettysburg SD, for many years. Don was teaching in Tulare SD, so the Sioux was a good summer job.

About 1970, the Archers moved to Chamberlain. In 1972, they sold the Sioux to Tom and Letha Gallup, who renamed it Pheasant City.

According to the Rapid City Journal, the drive-in was “on the brink of closure” when Dave and Stacey Marlow and her parents bought it in 2014 and installed a digital projector. “We just didn’t want to see it close,” Stacey Marlow said. “If it was closed, our community would lose something pretty great.”

It’s a good movie and a great drive-in movie, but I’m not sure I would recommend watching Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 for a sixth time in four weeks as I did here. I hope something else is showing Saturday night.

Miles Today / Total:  174 / 19716 (rounded to the nearest mile)

Movie Showing / Total Active Nights: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 / 69

Nearby Restaurant: Leo’s Good Food is a Redfield tradition, right down to its slogan “Family dining you can bank on”. Because it’s in a former bank building, you see. It started across the street in 1964, then moved to the bank in 1983. The salad bar is in the vault. My steak was prepared just right, and the lemon meringue pie topped off a great meal.

Where I Virtually Stayed: This is another one of those times when the Super 8 stands out in a small town. My room was comfy, had a fridge and microwave, and the classic Super 8 continental breakfast was there to get me on the road again.

Only in Redfield: On Thursday, I saw the pheasant statue in Gregory SD. Redfield has a taller pheasant statue, as part of the town’s claim to be Pheasant Capital of the World. As reported by Roadside America, pheasants were first released into the wild in North America near Redfield.

Next stop: Midway Drive-in Theatre, Miller SD.

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