Drive-In Movie Theaters Could Rise In Popularity Again Amid Social Distancing

While the COVID-19 virus has shut down a lot of activities and caused concern across the country, one silver lining is that the Drive-In movie theaters may be making a comeback.

With people practicing social distancing, conventional indoor theaters are no longer functional. That being said, sitting in your car outside watching a movie is still an acceptable activity. It very well could be one of the best ways to kick that cabin fever!

The Associated Press reached out to the owner of the Showboat Drive-in Theater in Texas, Andrew Thomas, who said, “Obviously this isn’t the way you’d want it to occur, but I’m excited for the idea that there may be a new generation of people that will get to experience going to a drive-in theater and—I was going to say catch the bug.”

In an age where the drive-in seems to be a dying business, Thomas said his theater is seeing growth. While normally ticket sales go down about 40% on a weekend when they don’t have any new movies, the theater actually saw a 40% increase last weekend.

Unfortunately, there are just over 300 drive-ins left in the country and not all of them are open, either for the season or in general. With the resurgence in interest from the general public, theaters are looking to make the best of it.

Several drive-ins are now allowing outside food and drink, which is enticing to a lot of customers while others are allowing patrons to order online, never having to leave their vehicle. They have taken the same approach with ticketing, keeping physical contact to a minimum. Likewise, it prevents people from turning out and waiting in line only to watch every parking space be filled before they get their turn.

While drive-ins aren’t obviously the perfect answer amid the virus outbreak (i.e. concessions and restrooms still require contact), it certainly is a fun option to break up indoor monotony for people in states that still allow it.