Sky Vue Keeps People Driving-In to Lamesa - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

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Sky Vue Keeps People Driving-In to Lamesa

Most people across the South Plains associate this town with the only drive-in movie theater in West Texas. The Sky Vue Drive-In has been a staple in Lamesa for 55 years, and every weekend, people from across the state travel here just to drive in.

NewsChannel 11's Ashley Stacy takes us there.

For many, taking a date to the movies has changed over the years, but thanks to the Sky Vue Theater in Lamesa, people across the South Plains are still driving in.

"The Sky Vue was built in 1948, so I guess it's been here 55 years. Mr. Noret and his dad Skeet Noret built it and I went to work here in about '57, so I've been here almost 46 years," said owner Sam Kirkland.

Sam and Carolyn Kirkland now own the only drive-in theater in West Texas that sits between two cotton fields. During the day, it looks just like an empty parking lot with a peculiar wall, but at night, up to 400 cars fill the lot and the dark sky surrounds the screen.

"Just being out in the open, the fresh air, it's nice just to sit and watch a movie," said Tonya Harley, a movie goer from Lamesa.

"It's just more relaxing, more fun for the kids. They can move around, get out, and stretch a bit," said Kyle Knox of Lubbock.

Sky Vue allows people to relax and visit while watching a movie. A pastime, Sam says, struggled with daylight savings time and video rental stores, but Sky Vue is still going strong.

"I think what they really like, of course, price is a big deal, but it's a getaway. Even people in hard times, you need a night out, and you come just to get out and forget about things. And of course, we're real reasonably priced. We're family oriented, and they just have a good time," said Sam Kirkland.

Sky Vue isn't just a drive-in, they also have a one-of-a-kind snack bar. As a matter of fact, their Chihuahua Sandwich has made them famous, and many people come here just for dinner.

"They're awesome, one of a kind, and once you have one you'll want to come back," said Shelley, a movie goer.

"It's unique, and it's one of the reasons people come out here. A lot of people come just to eat a Chihuahua. If you haven't had one, you need to come out here to Lamesa and eat one," said Harley.

But the Chihuahua isn't all they serve, they have a full restaurant from corn dogs to chicken gizzards, and a large selection of candy and popcorn.

"It's a good family atmosphere. The kids enjoy it, and they show good movies," said Rick Fisher, a movie goer from Tahoka.

The Kirkland family takes pride in showing family films and embracing the theatre's nostalgia. The snack bar sits in the original building, and the playground up front is still the original equipment. As for the best movie ever, Sam says Jurassic Park was a huge hit outdoors.

"That and Twister, and the night we showed Twister we had a big storm," he said.

But don't be fooled, weather rarely stops the show.

The Noret family started the Sky Vue and later sold it. Their grandson, Ryan Smith, is continuing the family tradition by opening a new drive-in in Lubbock, but the two theaters are not connected.

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