The Revival of Drive-In Theaters

by Shreya Ambati ’21

Source: Movie Hole

Published Oct. 18th, 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has required everyone to isolate and has put a damper on many social events of the year. As the need to step out of our houses reduces, it has become harder for people to entertain themselves while still following appropriate health guidelines. 

Surprisingly, drive-in theaters seem to be the new solution. Drive-in theaters have experienced a revival in the last year because they give people a way to enjoy a movie while still adhering to the social distancing rules. 

Drive-in theaters were most popular in the 1950s, as families found them to be one of the most flexible forms of entertainment. People could bring their children, enjoy a meal, and the movies themselves were very affordable. But as technology advanced, their popularity decreased. Many of the theaters have been shut down or demolished since their peak in the 50s. While there used to be around 4,000 theaters across the country, only about 330 are still standing today. 

However, the demand for these theaters have increased since the pandemic has hit and many owners have revamped their theaters for the enjoyment of the public. 

The theaters have implemented new rules to follow social distancing guidelines. Cars are now required to be 10 feet apart, and while two cars used to share a speaker, each car now has its own. Most theaters have created a “contactless” type of system that eliminates the need to interact with others, such as online ticket sales and concessions. 

Drive-in theaters are a perfect way to prevent the spread of the virus while also doing something fun, and older generations are calling it a “blast from the past” as they remember their own experiences. Current generations are also trying to incorporate a bit of the future into these theaters by adding more exciting components, such as potential immersive visual experiences. As the pandemic evolves, the owners of these drive-in theaters are constantly observing any adjustments in guidelines to keep these theaters safe. In our unprecedented era, drive-in theaters have become a great way to enjoy a movie while staying safe!

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