I vividly remember my first trip to the Kentucky. I'd just moved to Lexington for college, and I excitedly planned a trip with one of my new sorority sisters for a midnight showing of Pretty in Pink. There, beneath the giant screen and the ornate walls, Molly Ringwald's Andi seemed even sassier and more heartbreaking. As Andi leaned in to kiss Blaine at the star-crossed prom, someone yelled "drop the purse", the iconic moment of romantic abandon that signals the film's end. It wasn't just a sign that many of us had grown up watching too many John Hughes films; it was a community of dedicated film-lovers celebrating every cherished frame.
Over the years, the Kentucky has come to mean "community" in so many ways. In my early twenties, I joined the fans of Kevin Smith's cult comedies for late-night screenings. When the novelty of "Hey, you can have a beer while watching a movie!" wore off, I found myself taking in concerts -- the Kentucky has always drawn the best roots and Americana acts to be found.
These days, my trips to the Kentucky are far more likely to involve foreign or independent films. The works that might not command a multiplex showing are always on at the Kentucky.
This month, Lexington's storied Kentucky Theatre turns 90. Conceived as a "palatial new photoplay house" in 1921, the Kentucky is so much more than a beautiful historic theatre. It's a celebration of culture both high and low. It's a tribute to Lexington's history and diversity.
Happy 90th to the Kentucky Theatre!