Mar. 2: Winchester Drive In, Oklahoma City OK

It’s Day 61 of my virtual Drive-In-a-Day Odyssey, and I did something a little different. For the first time on this trip, I added a few miles just to make sure I can schedule a drive-in visit on a night of the week when it’s active. The good news is that going directly from Clarendon TX to the Winchester Drive In in Oklahoma City actually saved me a little time, although I’ll lose it when I double back a little for my next stop.

The Winchester arrived late to the drive-in scene in Oklahoma City. When it opened in 1968, There were over a dozen competitors, including such neat names as the Bomber, the Riviera, and the Sooner Twin. Now it’s the lone survivor in town. A tornado that tore the roof off the concession stand and projection building in June 2013, ruining a brand-new digital projector. It took until October 2013, but the place reopened as good as ever.

One more thing: That two-story neon cowboy on the Winchester sign? His name is Chester.

The Winchester was dark on this Thursday night, and its Facebook page says it’ll open for the season again this April. I’m expecting better results on my next stop on a Friday night.

Miles Today / Total:  219 / 8082 (rounded to the nearest mile)

Movie Showing / Total Active Nights: dark / 37

Nearby Restaurant: The Garage was a fine place to grab some burgers and beer, especially considering that it was a short two-block walk from my hotel (see below). Not only could I watch some sports on the big-screen TVs and play a few arcade games, it could safely return to my room without needing to drive. If you know what I mean, and I think you do.

Where I Virtually Stayed: There are a cluster of hotels just on the other side of I-240 from the Winchester, and I chose to stay at the Home2 Suites by Hilton. It was my first time at that brand, and I was impressed. Even though it’s designed for extended stays, the room and its microwave and fridge were handy even for a one-night visit. And microwaving my breakfast made me feel like I was home.

Only in Oklahoma City: Oklahoma City is home to the American Banjo Museum, a $5 million, world-class 21,000 square foot facility honoring the rich history, vibrant spirit and unlimited future of the banjo. The museum’s collection contains more than 400 instruments, recordings, film, video, printed music, instructional materials, ephemera and memorabilia associated with the banjo, and of course, the largest collection in the world of banjos on public display.

Next Stop: Chief Drive In Theatre, Chickasha OK.