Lincoln Theatre

201 E. Main Street,
Stanford, KY 40484

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Additional Info

Functions: Office Space

Previous Names: New Stanford Theatre, Stanford Theatre, New Lincoln Theatre

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Lincoln Theatre

There is nearly lost information at the start. According to my attempt on resources, the town of Stanford had two theatres during the early era of talkies. They were the Stanford Theatre and the Stanford Opera House (formerly known as the Southland Theatre for a time) and the Lincoln Theatre.

After new ownership took over the theatre, the theatre became the 425-seat Lincoln Theatre on September 29, 1933, reopening with Tim McCoy in “End of the Trail” with no sign of extra short subjects being added. In September 1940 the Lincoln Theatre was moved a couple of buildings down, across from an old red bricked building that was razed during the same year. It was rebuilt, although the old site of the Lincoln Theatre continued to run movies until the launch of the New Lincoln Theatre. The original capacity of 427-seats was upgraded to 675-seats and was fireproof by the latest ‘projection’. Most of the status was done by local companies such as the Lincoln Lumber Company and its own Lincoln Theatre company chain. There was also a mini store inside the Lincoln Theatre.

From 1949 it was renamed New Lincoln Theatre. It would later remain as the only movie house in the small town of Stanford until the launch of the Davis Drive-In, which happened on May 27, 1952.

CinemaScope though made a major role at the Davis Drive-In, replacing the two-year-old 50x52ft screen out of its misery but the construction was postponed until the end of the season due to precipitation.

The Lincoln Theatre however was the first to install and run CinemaScope films beginning on March 2, 1955. After running Van Heflin’s “The Raid”, Gene Kelly’s “Brigadoon” was the first CinemaScope film in Stanford and the Lincoln Theatre. The Davis Drive-In however would later run its first CinemaScope film, Gary Cooper’s “Garden of Evil” (along with a cartoon), 29 days later on March 31, 1955.

On December 10, 1964 Ervin Lay purchased the Lincoln Theatre and planned to build a Western Auto location inside the theatre, which happened. The Lincoln Theatre closed as a first run theatre on March 1, 1965 and it opened as a Western Auto on June 11, 1965.

Contributed by 50sSNIPES

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 10, 2022 at 2:27 am

The Lincoln Theatre was at 201 E. Main Street. The building is now occupied by offices for the Chamber of Commerce and various community action agencies. Google Street View.

50sSNIPES on June 10, 2022 at 4:37 pm

On July 31, 1947, a Kentucky Utilities worker was badly burned after he touched a live wire and fell from the pole in front of the Lincoln Theatre during the afternoon hours. He was transported to the Stanford Hospital shortly afterwards.

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