A crowd of hundreds fought New Circle Road traffic on a steamy July Saturday, hoping to snag a final piece of memorabilia from the Parkette Drive-In.

On Tuesday evening, June 28, the Richmond Register was the first to report that Lexington’s iconic Parkette Drive In 120 East New Circle Road was closed after more than 70 years in business.

Employees and would-be customers who showed up on Wednesday found an empty building and locked doors. 

At the memorabilia sale on July 25, fans arrived on a blistering 95-degree Saturday to purchase everything from menus to fixtures and booths. 

The Parkette opened in November 1952, serving fried chicken and poorboy sandwiches, when drive-ins with carhops were a common dining option. What would eventually become New Circle was still an unpaved road at the time, and Hamburg was still undeveloped rural farm country.

The landmark sign was designed by Stewart Cobb for the Ruggles Sign Company.