Apr. 13: Moberly Drive-In, Moberly MO

Moberly Drive-In marquee and screen

photo by Darren Snow, from the Carload Flickr pool

It’s Day 103 of my virtual Drive-In-a-Day Odyssey. Moberly MO is home to the Moberly Drive-In, part of the Moberly Five and Drive movie cluster. Sitting in north-central Missouri, Moberly really isn’t on the way to any other strings of drive-ins, so I had to swing out of my way to reach it. I had thought to leave it until my west-to-east run through Iowa a couple of months from now, but then I noticed that the drive-in was already open for 7-day viewing. It took four hours to drive from the Barco in Lamar, but I made it in plenty of time for the show.

According to Cinema Treasures, this drive-in began its life in 1950 as the Hi Way 63 Drive-In. The Hi Way 63 persisted into the early 1980s before shutting down, then idled for at least a decade. The owner also owned two downtown indoor theaters, and replaced them all by building a five-screen building on the Hi Way 63 site in 1997 and projecting to the drive-in screen from there.

It had been so long, I couldn’t even remember the last time I was able to watch a movie at a drive-in on a Thursday night. (I looked it up – eight weeks ago.) Even though it was the fourth time I’ve seen The Lego Batman Movie, the last time was exactly two months ago. And it’s a pretty good movie.

Miles Today / Total:  233 / 11295 (rounded to the nearest mile)

Movie Showing / Total Active Nights: The Lego Batman Movie / 48

Nearby Restaurant: There must be some folks who enjoy having breakfast for dinner more than I do, but I rarely meet them. The right place in Moberly to get a late early start with plenty of friendly attitude is the Funny Pages Cafe. There were plenty of comic book characters all over the walls in this 50s-type diner, but for me, the best part was the biscuits and gravy served with bacon.

Where I Virtually Stayed: The Comfort Inn in Moberly was just what I needed after my long drive. My room was clean and comfortable with a mini-fridge, and breakfast was just as nice as I expect from Comfort Inn.

Only in Moberly: Seven miles west of the Moberly Five and Drive is a six-foot ball of string. According to Roadside America, Terrill Mayo’s old obsession sits in the back room of the Huntsville Historical Society’s museum in downtown Huntsville. It’s not the biggest ball of string or anything like that, but it sure is something.

Next stop: Twin Drive-In, Independence MO.