Drive-In Theaters Are Becoming An Option For Watching Movies As Theaters Have To Shut Down

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Kyle Brester
March 19, 2020
by Kyle Brester
Fast & Furious
Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures

It has become difficult for all of us as we keep hearing about theaters having to shut down nationwide due to the fears surroundings COVID-19. However, there is good news to be had because it seems not all theaters are having to suffer from the virus.

The LA Times wrote an article about how drive-in theaters are managing to stay open despite everything else shutting down. Though there are only 305 drive-ins in the country, areas like California, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri are not only remaining open but have seen increasing business each day. The drive-ins are still keeping social distancing into consideration and will shut-down if a mandate requires them to do so.

Drive-ins have the benefit of gathering large groups of people into one area to see a movie but can have little human contact. Movie-goers can be safe in their car and watch movies in peace while not being paranoid of someone nearby having the virus. Cars can also be kept at a safe distance from each other to help avoid any spreading. This might cause less space for cars to park, but this will help follow health guidelines that they have to enforce anyway.

An example of having little human contact is given in the article. The Paramount Drive-In has their employees wearing gloves at the ticket kiosk and at the entrance to examine the tickets and direct parking. I'm sure the same is being done with many other drive-ins. Some drive-ins have also made sure to have little interaction at concession stands or have them shut down completely.

Drive-ins could possibly be enforced to shut down, so many are trying to make their case for staying open. As more government restrictions become tighter, drive-ins will constantly have to fight back to make their case that they can remain open due to not having to get out of their cars. They will shut down if they can't win their cases, but for now, it seems they are working hard to keep open.

Another concern of theirs is studios moving their films over to on-demand immediately. Many drive-ins are currently playing films like Onward, Bloodshot, The Invisible Man and Sonic The Hedgehog, but are concerned about having little films to play. They can revert to playing older movies, but who knows how long that can work.

Aside from these concerns, I'm happy that drive-ins are able to work around the virus and stay open. It not gives people a reason to leave the house but reintroduces them to a classic movie-going experience. It is great to see drive-ins start to pick up in business and I hope they can maintain that during this time and beyond.
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