Graduation at the Drive-In? It’s a Possibility

LA GRANGE, Ky. — Graduation at the drive-in theater? It’s a possibility for some high school students. 

Kentucky’s shelter at home order has school district administrators and families across the commonwealth wondering if they will be able to celebrate commencement. 

The owners of Sauerbeck Family Drive-In want to help. Stephen Sauerbeck says their theater, near La Grange, was deemed a non-essential business by the state and has been unable to open for the season. However, the expansive property has still been able to play host popcorn giveaways. 

“We have the opportunity for people to purchase online or donate a popcorn online,” Stephen Sauerbeck told Spectrum News 1. 

Since March they’ve been hosting “Drive-in, Drive-Thru, Popcorn.” 

“On-site we don’t accept any payments. We don’t accept any donations,” Sauerbeck adds.

The family has also donated the space to area churches. 

“It’s really encouraging to see 100 cars out here all watching the same sermon all singing to the same songs,” Sauerbeck describes. Parishioners stay in their cars during services and since restroom facilities are not available during the “at-home,” order the length of the services are reportedly an hour or less. 

So why not host high school graduations, the family wonders? Afterall, Sauerbeck says they’ve got a lot of space to work with. 

“Our total facility is 30 acres. Now, this lot is about 6 acres of gravel so it’s a big parking lot. At normal capacity we can hold about 450 cars,” Sauerbeck explains. 

Even with the CDC recommended 6-feet of social distancing Sauerbeck says his parking lot can hold 300 cars. He’s currently gauging interest from the community and hoping the state would allow for such an event. 

Sauerbeck said, “Where you’re six feet apart, one person at a time, walk across the stage get your picture taken and go back to your car…we know it’s not like a real graduation, it doesn’t even compare, but it’s something.”

And “something,” can mean a whole lot to families and their seniors during a time like this.