The Comeback of Drive-In Theaters

Remember seeing black and white photographs from the 1950s with drive-in theaters across America and wondering how it would feel to experience the thrill of that? Or perhaps it had never crossed your mind because a drive-in theater was simply a remnant of the past.

Once thriving during the Baby Boomer generation, the popularity of them has faded away over time, putting many of them out of business. In fact, according an article by The New York Film Academy, drive-in theaters were popular due to them being an affordable option and quality family time.

As the world became accustomed with digital media, the trend of drive-in movie theaters declined sharply as they could not keep up quick enough with new movie releases or upgraded equipment.

Times have changed, however, due to adhering to social distancing guidelines and the CDC recommendations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Drive-in theaters are making a comeback and now you have the chance to bask in all their glory.

Drive-in theaters can be considered “low-risk”.

On May 15th, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo allowed the opening of drive-ins and other activities he referred to as “low risk,” even hinting at the nostalgia of drive-in theaters. Other states had followed suit.

The New York Times reported in their article that in Warwick, New York, the theater was only filled to about half capacity with an 18-foot long space between cars. It also stated that visitors needed to wear masks outside of their vehicles and maintain social distancing.

Other drive-ins are implementing similar guidelines. The Family Drive-In Theatre in Stephens City, Virginia, for example, has a limit on the number of guests that attend the theater, also requiring customers to make reservations in advance, according to KLTV.

Safety is still a top concern during the pandemic, with many drive-in movie theaters across the nation prioritizing it. Though it is a gem from earlier generations, the drive-in theaters have made their comeback with additional sanitary measures to ensure the well-being of everyone trying to enjoy a movie and have a good time in the midst of the pandemic.

Drive-in theaters can provide an escape from reality.

If you’ve felt trapped or isolated during the pandemic, you’re definitely not alone. According to CNBC, drive-in theaters “have seen spikes in revenue as consumers desperately look for ways to escape their houses while abiding by the rules of social distancing.”

If you have the itch to get out and take an escape but want to to do so in a healthy way, a drive-in theater could be the solution. While most major theater companies remain closed, the surge of drive-in theaters has allowed many to enjoy a buried treasure from the past.

Why not find the nearest one by you and indulge in popcorn and a movie from the comfort of your own car? Give your mind the escape it may be craving and remain at a safe distance as you enjoy the classic feel a drive-in movie theater can offer. 

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