June 21: Sky-Vu Drive-In, Monroe WI

It’s Day 172 of my virtual Drive-In-a-Day Odyssey. It took me less than an hour and a half to drive an assortment of two-lane highways from Jefferson WI to the Sky-Vu Drive-In just south of Monroe WI.

According to Isthmus.com, the Sky-Vu opened in 1954 and has been operating ever since. It boasts “The Largest High Reflective screen” in the Midwest since it was replaced in 1976. The Sky-Vu installed FM stereo sound in 1986, although the folks at Cinema Treasures say that any claims that it was the first drive-in to switch to FM are exaggerated. The Sky-Vu installed digital projectors in time to start the 2012 season.

Isthmus wrote that the Sky-Vu brings in a lot of drive-in faithful from neighboring Iowa and Illinois. “We’ve had people come in motorcycles,” sais owner Duke Goetz. “I’ve had the highest-quality Mercedes-Benz and Lexus roll in there. I’ve had other cars that should have been part of the cash-for-clunkers program. I’ve had the semi tractor-trailer guys come in. It’s everybody.”

I was sure to save room for the famous Sky-Vu pizza, and if I brought in any cold water in my car, I was discreet about drinking it. This night, I had my fourth viewing of Cars 3, including my third night in a row. The more I watch, the more I wonder why there would be a school bus in the Cars universe.

Miles Today / Total:  70 / 22163 (rounded to the nearest mile)

Movie Showing / Total Active Nights: Cars 3 / 88

Nearby Restaurant: For a great little restaurant facing the courthouse, Pancho & Lefty’s Outlaw Grill is a great choice. Since I ate healthy the day before, I had the Pig on Pig sandwich with pulled port and two thick slices of bacon. A seriously large margarita might not have been necessary to accompany the meal, but I enjoyed it anyway.

Where I Virtually Stayed: All right! After a few nights of hobnobbing with more upscale lodging, I returned to another familar face, the Super 8. I was fortunate that this is another of those really good “Pride of Super 8” locations with a fridge and good wifi in the room and the standard “Superstart” continental breakfast with hot entrees if you count the waffle iron and the toaster. It was all I needed at a great price.

Only in Monroe: According to the Insiders’ Guide to Madison WI, Monroe has hosted Green County Cheese Days every September of even-numbered years since 1914. The festival can draw over 100,000 visitors and includes “a parade, tractor pull, arts and crafts fair, polka music, yodeling, and absurd amounts of cheese and beer.”

Next stop: 61 Drive In Theatre, Delmar IA.