It’s Day 30 of my virtual Drive-In-a-Day Odyssey, and it’s the first where I return to a drive-in that I visited in real life. The Fiesta Drive-In in Carlsbad NM, a two and a half hour drive from Midland TX, has three screens, some wonderful neon, and a great setting.
According to CinemaTreasures, the Fiesta opened with a single screen in 1948. (It’s listed in my 1949 Theatre Catalog that way.) It closed in 1970, but was completely rebuilt in 1989 as a three screen drive-in. By 2010 the Fiesta had closed again, but it was reopened in 2012 and seems to be doing okay now.
In fact, the Fiesta was just ramping up, hiring help and finishing a satellite dish installation before the opening of the 2017 season this Friday. Just like my other visit, there was no movie for me to watch, but this time I missed it by four days instead of one.
Miles Today / Total: 147 / 3608 (rounded to the nearest mile)
Movie Showing / Total Active Nights: dark / 21
Nearby Restaurant: When it’s open, it’s hard to beat the Red Chimney Bar-B-Que. Pecan smoked marinated chicken. That’s just a great phrase, and it’s even better when it comes with barbeque beans and cold beer.
Where I Virtually Stayed: It’s the closest hotel to the national park, and it’s not far from the Fiesta, but I picked the Hampton Inn for a reliable stay with great service. Have you noticed that newer hotels have plenty of power outlets on the walls in the room?
Only in Carlsbad: Have you been to Carlsbad Caverns National Park, just south of town? You’ve probably heard of it. Especially growing up, I must have toured a dozen caves, but none were anywhere close to Carlsbad Caverns for size and history. Those other caves were formed by rainwater, but the Carlsbad Caverns were carved by sulfuric acid. Carlsbad isn’t very close to anywhere, but if you’re ever in the neighborhood, you really must visit!
Next Stop: Fiesta Drive In Theatre, El Paso TX.