Labeled for reuse from Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center.
Only 14 movie theaters were open in the U.S. last week, and 13 of them were drive-ins. Do you remember the old drive-in theaters? If you’re anywhere near my age you most likely don’t, but I bet your parents and teachers do. It’s a place to kick back, hang out, eat snacks, and watch a movie all in the enclosed, private, comfortable space of your car. It’s a public outing except you don’t have to actually see or be near anyone. It’s getting out of the house without really getting out at all, and especially now during the time of social distancing and the urge to leave the house, the drive-in’s concept works better than ever.
Ever since online streaming services consumed the world of entertainment, movie theaters have taken a massive hit, and now with the coronavirus pandemic, certain movie theaters may never see the light of day again. Now is the time to bring back the drive-in and keep movie theaters alive— have drive-ins hold the place of normal movie theaters perhaps, and who knows, maybe we can bring them back and people will enjoy them so much that they end up staying in style.
After all, movies used to be an event. You would plan your night around going to see a movie. Remember that? And video stores! Even video stores used to be an event! You and your family would head on down to Blockbuster, agree on a movie (which you’ll probably forget about and never return) and you’d go home that night ready to settle in, snuggle up, and push in that disc. But in today’s era of throwing on a movie in the background while you play a game on your phone, movies feel like less of an event.
Maybe we can change that. Maybe, in the age of quarantine and social distancing, we can bring drive-ins with us, back to the future.