Apr. 28: Motor Vu Drive In, Erda UT

It’s Day 118 of my virtual Drive-In-a-Day Odyssey. It took almost three hours to drive from Roosevelt UT through Salt Lake City and over to the Motor Vu Drive In in Erda, on the outskirts of Tooele UT.

According to its web site, the Motor Vu Theaterwas built in 1949 with a maximum capacity of 650 cars, “although we tend to try to keep things below 400 for safety.” The original screen was destroyed by a small tornado in 1993. The drive in has been upgraded to digital projection and uses FM radio sound.

According to a 2008 article in The Salt Lake Tribune, the Motor Vu has been owned by the Bradshaw family since 1962. They were the ones who replaced the screen after that tornado. At the time of the article, the drive-in had “an ancient snack bar with worn tile on the floor, a hot dog cooker on the back counter, a grill for burgers and a snow cone machine. … The women’s bathroom is still called a Powder Room.” Alan Bradshaw told the Tribune that he runs dusk-to-dawn quadruple features on the nights before Memorial Day and Labor Day.

But we’re still a solid month away from Memorial Day. Just like the Echo the night before, the Motor Vu is scheduled to open for the 2017 season on May 5. It was pretty rainy anyway.

Miles Today / Total:  169 / 13093 (rounded to the nearest mile)

Movie Showing / Total Active Nights: dark / 53

Nearby Restaurant: Over in Tooele is a place called American Burgers, and you’ll never guess what it serves: a chicken kabob plate! It seems that in addition to some fine burgers and fries, there’s a fair amount of Greek influence here. I also enjoyed my dinner salad and Mango Bash fruit smoothie.

Where I Virtually Stayed: There are several of my kind of places to stay in Tooele, adjacent to Erda. In the end, I chose the Comfort Inn just off the interstate. My room was big, my bed was comfortable, and breakfast included bacon, eggs, and hash browns. Glad to have something warm in my belly to start off a chilly morning.

Only in Erda: Between Salt Lake City and Erda lies Saltair, sometimes called the cursed resort. According to Wikipedia, Saltair was first built in 1893 on the southern shore of the Great Salt Lake. Meant as a counterpart to Coney Island, it was for a time “the most popular family destination west of New York.” The resort burned in 1925 and 1931, and the lake receded from it in 1933. It was destroyed again by fire in 1970, but in 2005 “several investors from the music industry pooled together to purchase the building and are now holding regular concerts there.”

Next stop: Redwood Drive-in Theatre, West Valley City UT.