The entertainment industry, much like the sports world, has essentially hit pause in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Social distancing means not going out in public and amassing in crowds, meaning concerts, sporting events and even movies are not really feasible if you’re being responsible.
In response, movie theaters around the country have shut down, and release dates for a number of new movies have been delayed while some movies currently “in theaters” have accelerated their video on demand and streaming availability. But one form of movie theater is having a bit of a renaissance in the wake of social distancing: drive-ins.
— Lake Effect Drive-In (@TransitDriveIn) March 17, 2020
According to Deadline, more than 5,000 theaters in the U.S. alone have shut their doors in recent days, but some drive-ins, where people watch double features inside their cars and often bring their own drinks and snacks, seem to be thriving. Well, at least when compared to the box office totals of zero that most theaters are registering as coronavirus halts most traditional movie venues altogether:
Currently, as long as local ordinances allow them to remain open, they’re the best place for moviegoers to enjoy the show while practicing social distancing. But there won’t be any new product for them for at least two months, and there’s only 305 drive-ins stateside. Among those drive-ins that clocked cash were the Paramount Drive-In in Paramount, CA ($1,183), the Sacramento 6 Drive-in ($1,039), the Van Buren in Riverside, CA ($916), the Silver Moon Twin in Lakeland, Fl ($742), the Ruskin Family Drive-in in Ruskin, Fl ($739), the Vineland in Industry, CA ($654), and the Joy-Lan in Dade City, Fl ($400K) among others. Other theaters which showed signs of life included the Premiere Cinemas Imax in Lubbock, TX ($1,195), Fatcats Recline & Dine in Gilbert, AZ ($612), the Roadhouse Cinema Scottsdale, AZ ($534) and the B&B Wentzville Tower in Missouri ($677) to name a few.
For some drive-ins, the weather simply isn’t good enough for them to be open, but it’s certainly something to watch as springtime comes to the United States in earnest. Right now watching movies out in the open air sounds great, and might be the only way to watch something not streaming or on physical media for a good while.