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.
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
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 judydrivein.com.
Goody drive in
Address: 4078 Maysville Road, Mount Sterling, KY 40353
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.
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
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
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
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
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This story was originally published June 29, 2022 2:17 p.m.