Jan. 29: Big Sky Theater, Midland TX

It’s Day 29 of my virtual Drive-In-a-Day Odyssey, and it started with another two hour drive, this time from Lubbock TX to the Big Sky Theater in Midland. I never actually complained about all those half-hour hops out east, and I’m looking forward to more of them when I reach California this Thursday. But in between, it’s going to be a week of long hauls.

I know you read this yesterday, but the Big Sky is another pioneer of 21st century drive-in operation. It opened in 2005 with two screens and radio sound. A third screen came soon afterward.

Not only are their histories similar, the concession stand menu for the Big Sky was also a pretty close match to the Stars & Stripes the night before. That specialty tortilla sandwich was there, called simply the Chihuahua, and the corn fritters, burgers and pizza all looked good. I especially liked the idea of ordering 50 spicy chicken wings, which would have been great if I’d had someone around to split them with. I might need to do something about that.

Yesterday, I said that I expected to watch A Dog’s Purpose pretty soon. I was right. Of the three early movies available, that was the only one I hadn’t seen.

Miles Today / Total:  131 / 3461 (rounded to the nearest mile)

Movie Showing / Total Active Nights: A Dog’s Purpose / 21

Nearby Restaurant: As I continue my quest for authentic German-style experiences here in the states, I was happy to find the Midland Beer Garden just a mile down the road. The large glass steins full of cold beer and the haphazard-looking food trucks reminded me a lot of the serve-yourself style I saw in Berlin. (Although I wonder whether typical German beer gardens include a jalapeno cheddar corn dog.)

Where I Virtually Stayed: There are a lot of hotels in Midland, and there are quite a few near the Big Sky. I tried something different with the Hawthorn Suites just up the road. A full-sized refrigerator and good guest laundry facilities made me almost wish I had more time to stay here.

Only in Midland: The first airplane built and flown in Texas was built in Midland in 1911 by John V. Pliska, a blacksmith, and Gray Coggin, a chauffeur and auto mechanic. It had a wingspan of 33 feet and was made of wood, piano wire, and canvas. When Pliska’s blacksmith shop was torn down in 1962, his kids donated the plane to the city, and it now hangs suspended above the baggage claim area in the Midland International Airport Terminal Building.

Next Stop: Fiesta Drive In Theater, Carlsbad NM.