Lincoln Co. drive-in faces new challenge with closed road

STANFORD, Ky. (WKYT) - For the Stanford Drive-In…it’s been one challenge after another.

The drive-in needs a new, expensive projector to replace their age-old 35 millimeter units the studios have nearly phased out.

“We can’t show movies next season if we aren’t digital,” said owner Denise Pike.

A fund drive is underway in hopes of raising tens of thousands of dollars.

“We are still looking at $60,000,” she said of what it would cost to buy at least a used projector. The new projectors show films on a disc, as opposed to the bulky large reels of 35mm film that none of the studios will produce after this year.

If that wasn’t a challenge enough….now..during their busiest month of the year…the road the drive-in sits partially closed for construction.

“Just seems like there is one thing after another,” she said.

Kentucky 78 is under construction just outside Stanford for culvert replacement but road closed signs had her blocked in at both ends. Those coming from Hustonville have easier access….but the path from Stanford requires a lengthy detour of winding and curvy roads.

“The gentleman over the project says he is going to work around the clock to try to get in and out as quick as possible due to this situation,” said Pike.

Pike says she’ll have signage out to direct traffic in, hoping this latest problem, doesn’t keep people from coming to what she has heard isn’t just one of the oldest drive ins in the nation…it’s the smallest one still in operation.

“Just about everybody in this community has some kind of memory here,” Pike said.

Now she hopes these latest challenges go down as memories…and doesn’t spell doom for the historic outdoor theater.

People can find out more information about the fund drive by going to

State transportation officials say the “road closed” signs that were at the intersection of Ky. 1194 and Ky.78 have since been moved to allow easier access to the drive-in. Traffic coming in from the Stanford area, east of the drive-in, will need to travel on Brock Drive, then right on Spoonamoore Lane, then right on Ky. 78.

The drive-in is open weekends through the summer.

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