by DriveInMovie.com Released : 2018-05-07
The Georgetown Drive-in was opened in 1951 during the Golden Age of drive-in theaters. And not a lot has changed there since that time. The original main screen is still standing as are the original concession building and ticket booth. As you wait in the long lines that form on the weekends during the summer, gazing into the theater grounds you get the sense you are entering a by-gone era.
The Georgetown Drive-in has made some changes over the years to be sure. Originally opened as a single screen drive-in, they added a second screen sometime in the late 1990's or early 2000's making it a twin screen venue. They also added FM broadcasting, as have most drive-ins, although they still retain almost all of their original 1950's pole speakers which are still in working order for a truly authentic drive-in experience. And they have converted to digital projection to show today’s latest movies.
The Georgetown Drive-in is located in rural Georgetown, Indiana which is in Southern Indiana just across the Ohio River from Kentucky. Even though it is located in a rural area, the drive-in is only about 14 miles away from downtown Louisville. It is the last remaining drive-in in the Louisville Metro area which means long lines on summer weekends. Generally in the summer, if going on a Friday or Saturday night, you should arrive about 2 hours early if you want a good spot. We have seen them turning away cars many summer weekend nights. So best to get there early to secure your spot.
And get there early is what many families do. To fill the time between arrival and show time, families set up tables to play cards, throw footballs and kids play on the original 1950’s playground in front of the main screen. Many drive-ins have done away with playgrounds because of liability reasons, but not the Georgetown Drive-in. In addition, many patrons visit the concession stand for dinner before the movie. The concession stand has all the favorites you would expect from a drive-in (or state fair). About everything is fried, delicious and cheaply priced. Dinner here will run you much less than eating out somewhere before visiting. As it gets crowded on busy nights, in addition to the original concession building, they have since added a tent like concession area which has a limited menu to help with the demand. The secondary concession area is only open on busy nights and remains closed during normal weeknights.
The Georgetown Drive-in normally opens in early May and closes in September or sometimes in October depending on the weather and movie offerings. They are only open on weekend nights during the spring and late summer but are open 7 nights a week when school is out during the summer. Unfortunately, the local Indiana schools have gone to a sort of year round school and they are only out for 4-5 weeks for summer. In response, the Georgetown Drive-in goes back to weekends only much sooner than it did historically.
The drive-in is located on a hill side surrounding by trees. If visiting, try to pick the movie on the main screen. The main screen (which is the original screen) is larger than the newer screen and cars are parked facing downhill to view the main screen which makes for a stadium like viewing experience. If you are watching on the main screen, you will rarely have your view obscured by another car since every level in front of you is lower. But when watching on the second screen, the opposite is true and the cars are parked facing uphill. So while the second screen is raised off the ground substantially, the view is not always as good.
Since the drive-in is located in a rural setting, viewing is excellent once the sun goes down as there are no large cities close by emitting movie killing light pollution. Other than the sound of crickets, the only other sound that might interrupt the movie is the horn from a train that passes by right in front of the theater on some nights. But honestly, this is one of the things that makes this drive-in such a unique experience.
Look around at the Georgetown Drive-in and you will see people out of their cars watching the movie from blankets on the ground, or chairs, or from mattresses in the back of pick-up trucks and even from laying on the top of mini-vans. As long as you are being safe and not obstructing the view of others, there are no restrictions as to where you can sit.
As mentioned, the food is a big draw for many. The Georgetown Drive-in has no restrictions on bringing in outside food or drink, although they certainly encourage folks to visit the concession stand since this is where they make the majority of their money (as do all theaters). But there are no food restrictions or food permits as there are at many other drive-ins. My wife is very health conscious and loves to bring sushi to the drive-in. Luckily, they let her do it there but many drive-ins no longer allow any outside food.
So if you are in the Louisville, Kentucky area, take the time to visit the Georgetown Drive-in. It is truly a unique destination and one that is getting harder and harder to experience. For movie times, visit the Georgetown Drive-in's website.