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Bourbon Drive-In theater reopens for first 2020 screening

Posted at 12:13 PM, Jun 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-05 12:23:33-04

BOURBON COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — After months of waiting, Paris, Kentucky's Bourbon Drive-In, is reopening with a limited capacity just in time for a full weekend of movies.

Trish Earlywine co-owns the Bourbon Drive-In with her husband, Lanny. For decades they have not missed a weekend of movies on their big screen, so having to delay their opening for the year by several months was not easy.

She said, "We kept watching we would watch every afternoon at five o'clock to keep it up. So it was thrilling to get to know we were gonna get to come back, June 5th."

On a given night, the Drive-In usually hosts around 380 guests a night, due to the Kentucky coronavirus restrictions they will only be able to host half that number. But Earlywine thinks customers may actually be pleased, "It's going to be 50% capacity. So, the customers always like to do this anyway; they're gonna get to park between the posts."

She says it was important for the drive-in experience to have their kitchen back open, but explained customers might see changes to the menu because of limited supply.

"We'll try our best to keep prices reasonable, but there has been quite a bit of price increase in what a lot of that is is limitation on things."

Another change is that the drive-in is offering the ability to pay via credit card--something Earlywine has avoided for years to keep costs down but felt customers needed to have the option to order from their cars.

"They can stay in their cars, you can order the food, and we will take the credit card at that time, pass the orders to the kitchen, call out their number," she explained, "[Then,] they'll come to the back of the building, and we can pass the food."

During the weeks leading up to the reopening, Earlywine said they scrubbed their building from top to bottom with a toothbrush and will continue to take every step they can to remain open.

"We want everybody to stay well. Nobody wants to be shut down again. You know you want everything to go well, so we've got all the tools to the trade. We've got the cleaning supplies, we've got like I said we've got the lights and things we think that they say will help kill this virus so we're gonna do everything we possibly can," she said. "Plus, we deep clean a lot. We've always use chemicals that would kill viruses, but the COVID's just a little bit different, but he'll get knocked down, he'll go away."

Tickets are only available at the door, and with capacity down to 50 percent, Earlywine said patrons would want to arrive early to ensure they have a spot to park.

She said the theater has always been a place patrons go to forget their worries, and with financial and social anxiety for so many this year, she hopes the 2020 season will not disappoint, "That's what the theaters do for us. It takes you places to probably never see."

Friday night's movies include Trolls World Tour and Dolittle. Once visitors pay to come in for one movie, they can stay for the other. For the latest showtimes and information, visit their website: thebourbondrivein.com.