Cars near me: these places are still open in Kentucky

Owner Randy Kaplan confirmed to the Herald Leader that Parkette Drive-In, a legendary local establishment with a history spanning more than 70 years, has turned off its neon sign and closed on Good Tuesday.

Known for its fried chicken, fish boxes, double-decker “Poor Boy”, burgers, and milkshakes, Parkette Drive-In enjoyed a brief renaissance during the pandemic when patrons flocked to its old 1950s coves.

However, in the long run, a close family relative of original Parkette founder Joe Smiley told the Herald-Leader Wednesday that the storied Lexington restaurant could not continue.

So where does that leave Lexington residents looking for an authentic driving experience?

After calling various venues across the state, we’ve confirmed and compiled a list of alternatives that are still open. It includes two located an hour from Lexington, which puts them within driving distance before the 4th of July weekend.

Just be sure to call ahead and check driving around its hours before hitting the road.

0202 Second (2) .jpg
January 26, 2000. Lexington. Then and now. Parket Drive Inn on New Circle Road. (Near the intersection of Freedom Road). This is a “Then” photo, taken in 1951. Image courtesy of Parkette Drive In. Courtesy Parkette Drive In LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER

Bourbon Drive-in Theatre, Paris

This auto theater dating from circa 1956 features first-run movies, funnel-shaped cakes, among other concessions, and combo meals.

Next weekend will be crowded there.

Starting at 9:20 p.m. or dusk, whichever comes first, Bourbon Drive-In will show the new Minions movie, “Minions: The Rise of Gru” and “Smokey and the Bandit.”

Admission to see both films is $10 for those age 11 and older, $5 for children ages 6-10 and free for those age five or younger.

Privilege Suite opens at 6:45 pm

On top of the double feature, you can watch a fireworks display on Saturday evening.

Bourbon Drive-in Theater

Address: 147 Jackstown Street, Paris, Kentucky 40361

Tel: 859-987-2935

Goody Drive Inn, Mount Stirling

This weekend, Goody Drive-In promises live music and fireworks at break, weather permitting.

Like Bourbon Drive-In, Jodi is showing off the new Minions movie all weekend and co-starring with “Shrek,” in what she calls “a great family group for everyone.”

More details are available online at

Goody drive in

Address: 4078 Maysville Road, Mount Sterling, KY 40353

Tel: 859-498-1960

Other drive options around Kentucky

Some of these offer a drive-through movie experience, while others don’t. Be sure to check with each institution for more details before checking out.

The Root Beer Stand, Corbin

This place gets busy on lovely summer evenings in Corbin. The menu features classics like onion rings, grilled cheese sandwiches, and the local Dixie Burger.

Cars under the wagon at the Rootbeer Stand in Corbin, Ky. , Thursday, July 1, 2021. “It’s not hamburger and hot dog, it’s community,” said manager Robert Champlain. Champlain is also the son of owner Willie Champlain. “The community has the rootbeer wing, which is why it has been successful for so many years,” said Robert Champlain. Silas Walker [email protected]

Reviews on the place’s website praise the quality of the driving service. You can get a feel of The Root Beer Stand experience in this vlog by some locals who take a trip there before stopping at the Dollar Store.

Address: 129 18th Street, Corbin, Kentucky 40701

Tel: 606-528-4163

Daisy Wise, Louisville

Home of the Whizzburger since 1947, Dizzy Whiz still sticks to some of its traditions from the 1940s and ’50s, including dock service. Besides the classic burgers, there are quick breakfast options, sandwiches, and soups, and a dairy bar with drinks, sundae, split bananas, ice cream and waffles.

Address: 217 W. Saint Catherine Street, Louisville, Kentucky 40203

Tel: 502-583-3663

Email: [email protected]

Parker Drive Inn, Paducah

The 1950s-style car and diner has been serving family-owned for 30 years. Besides its classic greasy spoon fare, it also offers food service, according to its website.

Address: 2921 Lone Oak Road, Paducah, KY 42003

Phone: 270-554-7602

Franklin Drive Inn, Franklin

This is a movie theater in Franklin, about half an hour south of Bowling Green near the Tennessee border. This weekend, she’ll be playing the latest hits, like “Jurassic World: Dominion.”

Make sure you bring cash for the box office, and outside food and drink is okay as long as you buy a $5 pass.

Address: 6250 Nashville Road, Franklin KY 42134

Movie phone: 270-790-7168

Do you have a question about Kentucky for our press service team? We would like to hear from you. Fill out our Know Kentucky form or email [email protected]

This story was originally published June 29, 2022 2:17 p.m.

Aaron Maud is a news reporter for services with the Lexington Herald Leader based in Lexington, Kentucky. Previously he worked for Bowling Green Daily News covering education from kindergarten to higher education. Aaron’s roots go back to Fayette, Marion, and Warren counties in Kentucky.
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