This drive-in opened as the Barco Starvue in April 1950, but soon dropped the Starvue from its name. (Barco is short for Barton County.) It’s been in operation every summer since.
There’s a 2015 article at OzarksAlive.com that explains and illustrates the Barco much better than I have room to do here. Butler Felts designed the theater (with an apartment in its screen), managed it from its opening, then bought it in 1968. After Felts died in 2008, the Lamar Community Betterment leased the theater to make sure it stayed open, and that association raised the money for digital projection in 2012.
The Barco is only open Fridays and Saturdays at this time of year, which left me out of luck again on a Wednesday night. Soon, soon the summer will return!
Miles Today / Total: 29 / 11062 (rounded to the nearest mile)
Movie Showing / Total Active Nights: dark / 47
Nearby Restaurant: From the golden fish on the roof, you know what you’re in for when you dine at Cap’s Cabin Restaurant. I’ve had fish and chips in London, and I must say that I enjoyed the hand-battered cod at Cap’s Cabin more. Add a quart of iced tea and a salad to add a little green to my daily diet, and I was all set for the rest of the day.
Where I Virtually Stayed: There are some Super 8 motels that are the best hotel in town and would be even if it had more competition The Super 8 in Lamar is one of them. They feature fresh cookies every evening and biscuits and gravy in the continental breakfast. The room was clean, the wifi worked, I had a microwave and a mini-fridge, and my king bed was comfy. I was really glad this hotel was here.
Only in Lamar: A former US president was born in Lamar, and you can see the small frame house where that happened at the thoroughly named Harry S Truman Birthplace State Historic Site. It’s been restored with “furnishings that reflect what a house in western Missouri would have looked like during the time Truman lived in the house.” That wasn’t long; Truman’s family moved north before his first birthday.
Next stop: Moberly Drive-In, Moberly MO.