Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the entertainment business has been suffering and people have been desperately looking for any way to get out of their homes while staying safe. Enter the drive-in movie theater, a business idea from the 1930s that is oddly perfect for just this situation. The drive-in making a huge comeback during COVID.
The Drive-In Of The Past
The drive-in theater began in 1933 with the opening of the Park In Theaters in Camden, New Jersey before audio played through car radios. The sound quality was poor initially, but soon after it began the ability to play audio through the radio came along and improved this. The revolutionary new way to experience film took off and peaked in popularity during the 1950s and 60s. At its peak, there were 4,063 drive-ins in the U.S. in 1958.
In The Modern Era
The drive-in industry began declining in the 1970s. At the end of 2019, there were just over 300 local drive-ins across the country. However, since the pandemic started there has been a drive-in resurgence. Several traditional move theaters began converting their parking lots into drive-ins during the lockdowns to maintain their business. Even Walmart began hosting drive-in movies at their store locations across the country. The progression in technology has also benefited the drive-in industry with dramatically better screens and Bluetooth technology making the video and audio quality of the drive-in theater far better than it ever has been before.
Why The Drive-In Is Great During COVID-19
With the need for social distancing during the pandemic, drive-in theaters are perfect because it is possible to stay avoid close contact with people through the whole experience. Patrons staying in their cars makes it far less likely that the virus would be spread unless there were to be many people leaving their vehicles during the showing. The entertainment industry not being able to put people in seats in traditional theaters has been the reason for the drive-in resurgence and it has been a way to keep it going despite many delayed releases. Getting out to a drive-in during COVID could be a great way to get out of the house with your family or for a date night during these difficult times.
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