It's the end of an era in Franklin, Kentucky. The Franklin Drive-In, which opened way back in 1969, has been sold.  And the beloved drive-in theater is going to close after an impressive and memory-making 54-year run.

The announcement was shared via social media on Monday.

Moviegoers, it is official the Franklin Drive-in has been sold and will no longer operate as a drive-in. This was a difficult decision for our family. Many of you may not know but this drive-in has been in our family for 33 years and we bought it from the original family who built it. We would have loved to keep it as a drive-in, but the location has changed so much since it was first built in the late 60's. There is so much more traffic and light noise and this continues to increase year after year. In addition to traffic and light noise many are now taking advantage of bringing 1st run movies into their homes so we are now competing with the very studios that make the movies and show them on their own streaming services. We want to thank all that have supported us over the many years and for allowing us to be a part of your memories. We do think drive-ins still have a place but not on a busy highway like ours. Just because it is best for us to retire from the drive-in business it could be an opportunity for someone else. If anyone is interested in our projector, screen or concession equipment please send an email to questions@franklindrive-in.com
We will miss you all.
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Franklin is located just south of Bowling Green on the TN border.

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Reaction to the announcement came quickly and movie-goers in the area expressed their sadness.

Lori Hart shared- Absolutely devastating. We are losing our history & the soul of our culture. Its all dying and its so painful. To become what? Apartments? Horrific. Thanks for the memories.

Emily Waltenbaugh- I’m so glad we made the drive up from Nashville a few times. I’m sure this was a tough decision. Thanks for the happy memories, and good luck in your next chapter!

Amy Woosley- Thank you all for the many years of memories our family has shared at your drive-in. This is a huge loss for an amazing place for families. May your retirement be filled with love and laughter and all things good! You will be missed.

Shelly Land- This makes me tremendously sad because no joke…I was there almost every single weekend!! This was my place to go and just sit and relax and enjoy movies. I will miss y’all sooooo much!! Thank y’all so much for keeping it open and operating all these years! I love y’all!!

Tammy Medley- We will miss you tremendously. Thank you for drive in all these years. It holds a very special place in my heart. We have so many special memories there with our kids. I’m so saddened but understand y’all wanting to retire. Oh my heart is heavy hearing the news.

Where Can I Find Other KY Drive-In Theaters?

The closure of the Franklin Drive-In means there are just five such theaters left in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. These are the remaining locations in the state.



JUDY DRIVE-IN (Mount Sterling)



Owensboro, KY is just nine miles south of the Holiday Drive-In, which opened in Rockport, Indiana in 1955.  It remains operational today.

For a complete directory of the remaining drive-in movie theaters throughout the U.S., CLICK HERE!


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