The Stanford opened in 1952 and has stayed in operation since then. For its first 24 years, it was known as the Davis Drive-In, then changed its name to the New-Lynn. That name didn’t last long; it was listed as the Stanford by 1982. According to Cinema Treasures, the Stanford’s screen was replaced in 1996 after it was destroyed by a tornado. The drive-in switched to digital projection in 2015.
The Stanford, which only operates on weekends, won’t open until some time in April. Since I was there on a Thursday night anyway, it wasn’t as disappointing.
Miles Today / Total: 60 / 10108 (rounded to the nearest mile)
Movie Showing / Total Active Nights: dark / 44
Nearby Restaurant: It’s country cooking plus a buffet, so of course I knew I was going to like the Kentucky Depot. Even though it was hard to avoid such temptation, I saved room for a slice of one of their great pies.
Where I Virtually Stayed: The most appropriate hotel for the classic Stanford Drive-In is the Sunset Motor Lodge, which is also about the only hotel in town. The vintage neon sign out front is the best part about the Sunset, but the rooms are nicely renovated with a mini-fridge and good wifi, so it would have been a good choice even without that wonderful sign.
Only in Stanford: Although Stanford is one of the oldest cities in Kentucky and has the L&N Railroad Depot on the National Register of Historic Places, TripAdvisor reviewers say that the best place to visit in Stanford is a “cute little shop” downtown, Kentucky Soaps and Such. (Be sure to “ask for a tour of the soap making facility.”) As the Central Kentucky News put it, “Everything in the shop is made in Kentucky, down to the goats that produce the milk that go into the soap and lotion.”
Next Stop: Judy Drive In, Mount Sterling KY.