It’s Day 24 of my virtual Drive-In-a-Day Odyssey, time again for the occasional oddity of consecutive nights in theaters of the same chain. The drive took less than an hour, from the northeast corner of the DFW metroplex to the heart of Fort Worth TX, but it was also a trip back to the start of a new era in drive-in theaters, the era that began when the Coyote Drive-In opened.
It’s an exaggeration to say that the Coyote in Fort Worth spearheaded the drive-in renaissance, but only slightly. Since it was built from scratch and opened in May 2013, we’ve seen others reopened and others created or planned. And of course there are the two newest members of the Coyote family in Leeds AL and Lewisville TX. Jimmy Buffett performed here in June 2014 concert that was syndicated to other drive-ins, a great example of the possibilities created by the switch to digital projection.
The menu here was pretty much identical to the Coyote in Lewisville, right down to the note that “Taxis are available.” Considering that a “small” fountain soft drink is $5.50, a $5 pint of domestic beer looked like a real bargain. But instead of the footlong corn dog, I switched to the buffalo chicken pizza.
There were four double features playing, yet I had a tough choice. I had already seen three of the early movies, and the fourth was one of those creepy types I wouldn’t ordinarily choose. But desperation and some good buzz about Split led me there for the night. If you see it, don’t tell anyone about the ending!
Miles Today / Total: 37 / 2938 (rounded to the nearest mile)
Movie Showing / Total Active Nights: Split / 18
Nearby Restaurant: I was in heaven again. I didn’t expect that the closest restaurant to the Fort Worth Coyote would be another authentic German place. This unassuming small standalone building next to a gas station, Little Germany, had the best spaetzle since New Braunfels at least. Are there good German restaurants everywhere, but I just didn’t notice before I visited Munich?
Where I Virtually Stayed: The Coyote is close enough to downtown Fort Worth and its intersection of interstate highways that there are plenty of hotel choices. The very closest was a safe choice, the TownPlace Suites Downtown. With a full-sized fridge in the room, weeknight evening reception and a good breakfast, I wish I could have the extended stay this place is made for.
Only in Fort Worth: The Fort Worth Star-Telegram had the headline of the year last January: “Fort Worth firefighters respond to elevator fire, find man juggling flaming batons”. The details were that it was a grain elevator, it was around 7 on a Saturday evening, and “the man didn’t have a reason to be there.” The torches were quickly extinguished, and it appeared that no arrests were made.
Next Stop: Brazos Drive In, Granbury TX.