Americans have always loved drive-in movie theaters, and now they are current for millennials and younger generations who may not have had the opportunity to visit them before.
They were over-visited in the 1960s, allowing people to watch movies projected on the big screen, sitting in their private cars. However, with the development of technology and the availability of color TVs, VCRs, and video recorders, interest in visiting cinemas has declined.
With the start of 2020, the coronavirus pandemic resulted in the closure of a large number of businesses, as well as cinemas across the country, to respect the physical and social distance. Due to indefinitely shutting down cinemas across the country, the release of long-awaited films such as James Bond’s ‘No Time to Die, Wonder Woman 1984’ and ‘Mulan’ has been pulled back.
Time to bring back drive-in movie theaters.
— Zach Graumann🧢 (@Zach_Graumann) April 18, 2020
As a result of the crisis, movie industry leaders AMC and Cinemark have been hit with financial difficulties and have faced bankruptcy or corporate debt. According to some analysts, a quarter of the nation’s theaters could also be threatened to close forever amid a sharp economic downturn, which the IMF called a “major decline”.
This situation has been a challenge for the film industry and has forced many to revive drive-in theaters as a viable option that allows film lovers to entertain large spaces while also complying with the physical distance guidelines prescribed by state governments.
In relation to drive-in theaters, earlier this month, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo noted:
“Where is the public safety issue? It’s a drive-in theater. You’re in the car with the same people.”
There are currently roughly 320 drive-in theaters across the United States with only 25 open for business, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, there are currently about 320 drive-in theaters across the United States, and only 25 are open for business.
In this new situation, Americans are desperate for some diversions and recreational trips and seem to be satisfied with streaming capabilities like Amazon Prime and Netflix for now.
A Moment for Drive-In Movie Theaters – 19 images of movie-goers enjoying big screen entertainment, while remaining safely apart, in South Korea, Germany, and the U.S. https://t.co/LvbJRqwMWq pic.twitter.com/6zbIaNpn6J
— RaminSubzero (@RaminSubzero) April 22, 2020
Ticket sales for this theater during the crisis were “steady but not spectacular,” according to The Post.
For the older generation, drive-ins may have enormous charm, but marketing is equally intricate and old – so many theaters rely on classics to sell tickets, while the flow of new Hollywood films slows and summer blockbusters face unlimited delays.
However, overseas crowds have absolutely flowed to drive-in theaters, as in South Korea and Germany people line up to watch movies, and there is a lot of interest in older titles and relatively recent films.
In Germany, for example, since the outbreak of the crisis in early March, the outdoor theater Autokino Essen has been able to sell off every screening.
For the director of Autokino Essen, Frank Peciak doesn’t matter what is being shown, but people just want to go out and watch a movie. They are pleased that the tickets have been sold out weeks in advance.
Another case of great interest in this type of cinema is in Cologne, where another drive-in theater is reserved, although only a quarter of its 1,000 seats have been used in the theater to enforce the rules of physical distance.
When it comes to Loe Studios, an independent theater in the town of Marl, it started showing movies on a 640 square foot LED screen behind a chain bar. Offering a premiere presentation of “Lion King” and “Parasite” films, they immediately sold out tickets in just a few hours.
It’s a great turn out for the 5:00 PM drive-in movie at Northern Cass tonight. pic.twitter.com/DuY2ucTqJA
— Cory Steiner (@CorySteiner10) April 15, 2020
According to Heiko Desch of theater chain Drive-In, there was a worry at the beginning among the authorities, but they haven’t had any issues. People are instructed to stay in their cars, except for visiting the restrooms.
In New York, theater managers like Warwick Drive-In owner Beth Wilson pointed out: “Whatever the state wants us to do, we’re willing to do. We want people to enjoy going out, but in a safe environment. If you’re in your car with an average family — two parents in the front seat and two kids in the back — you’re sitting in a car with people you’re within the house. It’s a little outing.”
Open theaters across the United States currently meet the demands created by the pandemic, but it is assumed that they will fall quickly after the crisis is gone.