Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, the entertainment business has been almost completely on pause and people have been desperately looking for any way to get out of their homes safely. Enter the drive-in movie theater, a business model from the 1930s that is surprisingly perfect for just this situation. Drive-in theaters have made a huge comeback during the pandemic.
Drive-In Theaters Of The Past
The drive-in began in 1933 with the opening of the Park In Theaters in Camden, New Jersey before they even could play audio through car radios. The sound quality was poor initially, but soon after audio through the radio came along and improved that aspect. The revolutionary new way to experience film took off and peaked in popularity during the 1950s and 60s with the peak number of drive-ins being 4,063 in 1958.
Modern Drive-In Theaters
The drive-in business began declining in the 1970s. At the end of 2019 just over 300 local drive-ins operated across the country. However, since the pandemic began there has been a drive-in resurgence. Several traditional movie theaters began converting their parking lots into drive-in theaters during the COVID-19 lock-downs to keep their business open. Walmart also began hosting drive-in movies at their store locations across the country. The progression in technology has also greatly benefited the drive-in industry with dramatically better screens. Additionally, Bluetooth technology improves 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 Quarantine
With the need to avoid crowds during the COVID-19 pandemic, drive-in theaters are perfect because it is possible to social distance throughout the whole experience. 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 popular releases being delayed. Getting out to drive-in during the pandemic 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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