Social Distancing Revives Drive-In Movie Theaters In Post-COVID World

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, May 21, 2020 - 10:25 PM

In the 1950s, there were more than 4,000 drive-in movie theaters around the US. Now there's less than 300 as America's love affair with drive-ins died in recent decades. However, stop there, social distancing in a post-corona world could revive drive-ins as people keep their spaces while sitting in cars, watching a movie on a giant screen, which is much better than a crowded indoor theater where a COVID-19 carrier could infect everyone in the space

We will revert our attention back to the US shortly, but first, drive-ins are becoming the next hottest thing in Dubai as traditional movie theaters remain closed. Reuters notes that the UAE has opened up an outside theater via VOX Cinemas that can accommodate up to 75 cars at a time.

Tickets cost $50 per vehicle with popcorn, snacks and drinks included. 

"We keep our social distancing so it's a brilliant idea in my opinion," Porsche driver Xavier Libbrecht told Reuters during a showing Wednesday. 

The drive-in is located on top of the Mall of the Emirates, a shopping mall in Dubai. The giant screen was erected under the peak of the mall's indoor ski resort. 

"Any excuse to get out the house during coronavirus times," said Patrick, another moviegoer said on Wednesday. 

"In the comfort of your own car you don't have to worry about chewing too loud," he added.

Back to the US, Google search trends for "drive-in movie theater near me" has erupted to a five year high at the same time lockdowns are easing across the country.

People, who are searching for drive-in movie locations the most, are located in states where partial reopenings are currently underway.

It's obvious that most Americans will not step into a movie theater anytime soon, considering a second coronavirus wave could be in the makings later this year. So their next best option, with social distancing in mind, and the luxury of their automobile, is to do something their parents or grandparents did decades ago: go to drive-in theaters. 

Short traditional movie theaters, long drive-in theaters in a post-corona world?