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JIM: 1952 News ad announced opening of Adair Drive In

A capsule history of the opening and subsequent ownership of the Adair Drive-In Theatre. (Test yourself before unfolding the rest of JIM's story here. First, if you knew the original ownership in the second paragraph below, give yourself Valedictorian Status; if you remember subsequent owners, you are a history genius). Comments and memories are welcome, but must be below 212 degrees Fahrenheit. For those who wail and complaint about business taxes, do the math on the occupational tax for this establishment. One could have purchased a new house in the Harvey Addition for an annual occupational tax payment!!!
Click on headline for story with image of First ad for the Adair Drive-in Theatre

By JIM

The first ad for the Adair Drive-In, from the May 21, 1952 News.

An article the week before stated the facility had room for 300 vehicles and that owners F.X. Merkley and Alvin Willis had spared no expense for "the latest and most up-to-date equipment available" to make the facility "attractive and comfortable."


(A few months later, the newspaper quietly reported the 1952-53 state occupational tax for theaters was twenty dollars per seat, and that "Each parking space for a motor vehicle is equivalent to two seats in calculating the fee of open-air or drive-in theaters.")

In the fall of 1952, Mr. & Mrs. Doc Walker purchased Mr. Willis' interest in the business. Mr. F.X. Merkley died in the summer of 1954 and the following year, shortly before the theater opened for the season, the Walkers and Mrs. Merkley leased operation of the establishment to O.G. Roaden of Louisville, who operated "an independent chain of theaters in Southeastern Kentucky and Tennessee." Mr. Roaden immediately announced plans to "expand the concession items" and promised two shows nightly, Friday through Monday.


This story was posted on 2017-09-30 05:35:36
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First Ad for Adair Drive-In - May 21, 1952



2017-09-30 - (Then Burkesville Road, now Burkesville Loop), Columbia, KY - Photo from the collection of JIM.
The first ad for the Adair Drive-In, from the May 21, 1952 News. An article the week before stated the facility had room for 300 vehicles and that owners F.X. Merkley and Alvin Willis had spared no expense for "the latest and most up-to-date equipment available" to make the facility "attractive and comfortable." - JIM

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