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  • Carrie Specht

Drive-Ins Make A Come Back During The Age of COVID-19

This summer the movies are coming to a parking lot near you. All across the country large empty spaces are being transformed into make-shift drive-ins. Even once abandoned drive-ins are being resurrected to new life for a safe option to movie theaters.

Pasadena’s Rose Bowl will be screening drive-in movies this summer, which is the perfect solution for those craving the collective movie watching experience without the nuisance, or fear, of sitting amongst a room full of strangers. And it appears the idea has spread from coast to coast as people strive to live a life as "normal" as possible in abnormal times. For decades the drive-in theater was the popular date night destination for teenagers (and families). The unique outlet for second run films and "B" movies reached its zenith of popularity in the 1960s, falling into deep decline in the 1970s, becoming virtually obsolete by the 1990s. Most actual drive-ins have disappeared from the American cultural landscape, having been replaced by Malls, Big Stores, and any other business that requires a large piece of land.


And now, because of a world-wide epidemic, the drive-in has once again become an essential venue for movie audiences. Tribeca Enterprises has become one of the first to resurrect the nostalgic pastime by hosting screenings every weekend in summer, starting July 2-July 26. The summer series begin with director Steven Spielberg’s 1975 thriller “Jaws” July 2 and wraps up with Tim Burton’s “Beetlejuice” July 26. There are a slew of comedy films (“Superbad,” “Mean Girls,” “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure,” “Girls Trip,” “Bridesmaids,” “Meet the Parents,” “Meet the Fockers”) and kids movies (“Inside Out,” Invasion,” “Lego Movie,” “Spy Kids”). They’ll also screen sports films (“Field of Dreams,” “Space Jam,” “Gloves Off,” “Creed,” “Friday Night Lights”), action movies (“Wonder Woman,” “The Dark Knight”), dramas (“Straight Outta Compton,” “Do The Right Thing”), the classics (“The Goonies,” “The Never Ending Story,” “Apollo 13,” “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” “The Wizard of Oz”) and more. So, there's something for families as well as nostalgia seekers.


Tickets are $26.60 plus a $3.40 fee per vehicle and are available in advance only via tribecafilm.com/drive-in. The drive-in will open an hour before the listed show time and parking spots will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Upon entry, the driver and each passenger must show they have their own face masks. Masks are to be worn anytime a guest leaves a vehicle.


The vehicles will be staggered to accommodate premium viewing and parked at least six feet apart. Restrooms will be available on-site and undergo extensive cleanings. Concessions will also be available and guests are asked to maintain social distancing while waiting in the service lines. Guests must remain in their vehicles during the film, and the movies will be broadcast via FM radio.


See you at the Drive-In!