Mar. 28: 27 Drive-In, Somerset KY

It’s Day 87 of my virtual Drive-In-a-Day Odyssey. It took took two hours on the Cumberland Parkway to drive from Lafayette TN to the 27 Drive-In in Somerset KY.

According to Cinema Treasures, the 27 Drive-In opened in 1967 as a single screen drive-in. It added a second screen in 1980.

In a 2011 article by the Lexington Herald-Leader, Harry Roaden, the 27’s owner, said that the general drive-in downturn started in 1984 when cable TV news stations started broadcasting news reports during prime time, keeping people at home instead of at the drive-ins. “TV has stolen two hours of our prime time,” he said. “If they would never have done that, there would be a drive-in with maybe 10 screens.”

The 27 started to bounce back in 1991. “We probably grossed about $20,000 that year,” Then in 2000, the drive-in began showing only first-run movies. “It was a new era for the drive-in theaters,'” Roaden said. “Now, if a movie does big, we do big. If it don’t do as much, we don’t do much either.”

This is also another of the drive-ins that has its own annual Fourth of July fireworks display. I love those.

The 27 only shows movies Fridays and Saturdays this time of year, so no movie for me on a Tuesday night.

Miles Today / Total:  120 / 9978 (rounded to the nearest mile)

Movie Showing / Total Active Nights: dark / 44

Nearby Restaurant: I’ll admit that I came to Culver’s at least partly for the frozen custard, but the rest of the meal was also great. A good old ButterBurger with all the trimmings, plus a salad, because I’m eating healthy. And the frozen custard flavor of the day was Turtle, like the chocolate nut candy, not the terrapin.

Where I Virtually Stayed: There are a plethora of choices considering Somerset’s size, but I rarely turn down the opportunity to spend the night at a Hampton Inn. A nice sized room, good wifi, and a solid continental breakfast in a familiar setting make the rest of the day easier.

Only in Somerset: Somerset is home to the Somernites Cruise classic car events. No “motorcycles, semis or lawnmowers” are allowed.

Next Stop: Skyline Drive-In, Greensburg KY.

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