Jan. 28: Stars & Stripes Drive-In Theatre, Lubbock TX

It’s Day 28 of my virtual Drive-In-a-Day Odyssey, starting with a two and a half hour drive from Abilene TX to Lubbock, home of the Stars & Stripes Drive-In Theatre.

This place is a pioneer of 21st century drive-in operation, opening in 2003 with two screens and radio sound. A third screen came soon afterward.

The Stars & Stripes concession stand is set up like a 50s themed cafe, and that’s not the only unusual part. The specialty of the house is a sandwich they call the Ay Chihuahua, with chili, cheese and other stuff between two crispy corn tortillas. The soda and popcorn prices are reasonable, and I have a weakness for corn fritters.

For the first time in weeks, I had a choice between two early-show movies I hadn’t seen yet. A Dog’s Purpose just came out this weekend, so I went with Monster Trucks, which has been around longer. That dog will probably show up again in the next week or two.

Miles Today / Total:  172 / 3330 (rounded to the nearest mile)

Movie Showing / Total Active Nights: Monster Trucks / 20

Nearby Restaurant: Isn’t it nifty when the only really close choice happens to be really great? The Shack dishes up the kind of barbecue that overcomes a humble, out-of-the-way setting and gets patrons lined up to get a table before they run out of food. Definitely recommended!

Where I Virtually Stayed: Most of the hotels in Lubbock are along the highways on the southwest and east sides of town. The closest hotel to the Stars & Stripes, northwest of town, is the Best Western Plus Tech Medical Center Inn. It’s a pretty new place, and I always like having a mini-fridge in the room.

Only in Lubbock: There are prairie dog towns around plenty of cities in the western US (I know of several within a 30-minute drive from Carload World Headquarters in Denver), but only Lubbock has the Prairie Dog Town. The official Lubbock web site gushes, “Of all Nature’s wild creatures, none is more appealing and entertaining to watch than the Prairie Dog.” PDT was established in the 1930s and has grown and relocated a couple of times since. It even has its own Goodwill Ambassador, Prairie Dog Pete.

Next Stop: Big Sky Theater, Midland TX.