Drive-in Movie Theaters
In the wake of a pandemic, traditional movie theaters are struggling, but a sudden resurgence in drive-ins just might save the film industry.
For many of us who were born long past the drive-in movie theater’s heyday in the 1950s and ’60s, our only experiences with this movie-going format come from old movies (most of which we’ve either watched in traditional movie theaters or streamed at home). However, in light of recent world events that have turned modern cinemas into ghost towns — and put major motion picture releases in a holding pattern — it’s these long-gone drive-in theaters that might be the industry’s next best hope.
As COVID-19 affects daily life across the globe, the few drive-in movie theaters still in existence are some of the first places to reopen, or in many cases, they never closed at all. Right now, and for the foreseeable future, they’re the only communal opportunity for people to watch movies with their families and friends (and a bunch of strangers). While the early numbers are just starting to come in, there are some encouraging signs that drive-in theaters might just be the best social distancing-friendly pastime for film fans everywhere. They could also be a boon to the greater film community, helping it rebound a bit quicker in light of such a devastating pandemic.
Let’s see how a new generation of old drive-ins is adapting the movie-going experience. Of course, drive-ins aren’t the only sign of a changing industry; shut-downs have also accelerated a move to video-on-demand — you can read about it in our article on streaming culture in quarantine.
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