Creative Close-Up

Creative Close-Up: The Return of the Drive-In Theater


drive-in theater or drive-in cinema is a form of cinema structure consisting of a large outdoor movie screen, a projection booth, a concession stand, and a large parking area for automobiles. Within this enclosed area, customers can view movies from the privacy and comfort of their cars.


The drive-in is making a comeback…all thanks to COVID-19. We love to watch Netflix and chill, but let’s face it, we want to get out and watch a movie and the drive-in movie theater is the best way to do it. Since the virus outbreak a couple of months ago, all activity stopped completely, even movie theaters. There hasn’t been a box office report in the past few months. We do have newly released films coming to our homes. 

Honestly, after being stuck in our homes, people want to just get out and do something. According to a report from CNN‘s Chauncey Alcorn, in recent weeks, outdoor cinemas are popping up all over the country. From the same report below…

Local small business owners who have been forced to shut down operations to comply with Covid-19-related social distancing mandates have been reopening old drive-ins or building make-shift theaters in parking lots and showing old movies to customers to make up for lost income.

I read that the parking lot of Yankee Stadium will become a drive-in theater this summer, from the report by Erin Walsh, “according to Sports Illustrated’s Max Goodman, as part of the “Uptown Drive-In Experience.” With summer coming around the corner, I can only guess that other places may want to do the same. 

Summer 2020 will be really different. The country is slowing reopening, but no word on when movie theaters will open. They have to take precautions on how to do social distancing and I’m sure they’ve been working on this situation for the past few months. 

One question remains, once this pandemic is over, will the drive-ins continue? That depends on the profit. With attendance and revenue spiking, the owners are not making much of a profit. Miami business owner Eddie Bernal, who opened a temporary drive-in theater told Alcorn that he doesn’t see a future for drive-ins being a long-term business because movie studios don’t root for them. He reached out to Sony if he could show Bad Boys for Life, but that didn’t work.  “They started putting in rules and stuff that really didn’t make a lot of sense,” Bernal said. “It made us feel like, ‘Hey these guys just don’t want to do it.'”

The studios better get with the program, because I think we may not be able to step into a theater till later this year. 



Featured image: Considerable


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