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Home > Special Themes > Road Trip Texas 2011 Part 5
Road Trip To Texas Part 5 by Francesc Lopez
Elvis performed in Hobbs a couple of times, one on February 11, 1955 and the other on April 27, 1955, at the American Legion Hall. The building consists of a hall and bar with signs advising the place is open to members only.
We left Hobbs behind for a new destination: Roswell, NM. The day was getting longer than we thought, since we started in Midland, TX in the morning. Finally we made it to Roswell, NM after 230 miles.
Elvis played only one date in Roswell on February 14, 1955 at the North Junior High School Auditorium. The building is now the Central Administration building for the Roswell Independent School District. The Auditorium is still there - a stately brick building which has been so well maintained that it looks like it has not changed too much throughout all the years.
We were lucky again to receive a private tour inside of the auditorium by a kind administrator. The auditorium was really impressive, somewhat small with a lovely balcony. We were astonished to see that they have preserved the original wrought iron on the seats, and kept the venue in pristine shape. It is still used by performances today.
The American Hut is a fairly small building with some offices and a hall. The hall could hold no more than 150 people and the stage was small. A kind Legion member showed us around, and told us he had played on the stage years ago himself! He was not aware that Elvis had shared that stage before him.
The other venue where Elvis played was the Sports Arena. We had a really hard time trying to figure out where the Sports Arena was, since people in Carlsbad didn't know. After contacting the Public Library and The Carlsbad Museum and Art Center, they put us in contact with the City Facilities Manager, Mr. Lenny Barnett. He remembered that his wife's grandparents bought a former car dealership and converted it to a lounge. It was called the Sands Cocktail Lounge. Later on they poured cement all the way to the alley and made a building for boxing, wrestling and dances that was called the Sports Arena. The Lounge is now gone, and there is a parking lot where the building once stood, right beside the Trinity Hotel, on the corner of Canal St and Fox. Below is a photo of the parking lot and the alley behind it. Somewhere there, Elvis performed on February 11, 1955.
At this point, the part of the trip related to Elvis was done. Sadly, we had to go back to California. We stopped for the night in Las Cruces, NM, and then traveled on to spend two days in Laughlin, NV. After more than 4,000 miles traveled, we arrived home in California.