Apr. 14: Twin Drive-In, Independence MO

Twin Drive-In marquee with one screen in background

photo by Jim Good, from the Carload Flickr pool

It’s Day 104 of my virtual Drive-In-a-Day Odyssey. US Route 24, one of the first US highways established in 1926, leads almost perfectly from my previous stop in Moberly to the Twin Drive-In in Independence MO. It took me a little over two hours to drive the historic route

According to Cinema Treasures, the Twin was a latecomer to the initial drive-in wave, opening in November 1965 as the first twin-screen drive-in in the Kansas City area. It’s been running ever since, and it was most recently purchased in 2014 by B&B Theatres, the folks who also own the Moberly Five and Drive.

According to an article in The Examiner, the Twin’s previous owners weren’t able to invest in digital projection equipment. “They (the owners) approached us and said, ‘We just can’t do this,’” said Bobby Bagby, B&B’s vice president of marketing. The new owners installed the new projectors, retained the old staff, and another drive-in was able to keep on rolling film, only virtually.

Over the previous three weeks, I had seen just four movies (including Thursday night in Moberly) including only one that I hadn’t seen earlier. So it was doubly nice to be able to watch a new release, The Fate of the Furious, which happens to be a fine drive-in movie.

Miles Today / Total:  123 / 11418 (rounded to the nearest mile)

Movie Showing / Total Active Nights: The Fate of the Furious / 49

Nearby Restaurant: Most people don’t know that to get into the Harry Truman spirit of Independence (see below), the place to eat is Dixon’s Famous Chili, where Truman frequently visited, even while he was president. Dixon’s started in 1919, and it’s been dishing up its fine, meaty chili ever since. You can get your chili with natural meat juices, bean juice, or dry-ish, and a variety of additions are available. New since the last time I visited are the all-you-can-eat tacos, starring the same sort of chili meat.

Where I Virtually Stayed: Now that I’m back in a metropolitan area, there are plenty of chain hotels available. My choice this time was the Holiday Inn Express in Independence. My room was freshly remodeled, the wifi was excellent, and the cinnamon rolls at breakfast are one of my guilty pleasures.

Only in Independence: A couple of days ago, I was in Lamar, where former US President Harry Truman was born, but Independence is where he lived before and after his White House residency. His house is now a National Park Service historic site, with tours that are limited to eight visitors at a time because it’s not a large house. In today’s world of McMansions and million-dollar lobbyists, it’s amazing to see a former president’s house that was no more opulent than yours.

Next stop: Boulevard Drive-In Theatre, Kansas City KS.