Entertainment

2020: The Year Drive-In Movie Theatres Are Reborn?

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  • Jul 3rd, 2020 5:09 am
[OP]
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Jan 12, 2020
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2020: The Year Drive-In Movie Theatres Are Reborn?

There have been many articles on the death of the drive-in movie theatre, whose golden age was in the 50's, 60's, 70's - - here is an excellent one from the Globe & Mail.

Now with the pandemic, it is dawning on some theatre entrepreneurs that the old drive-in model may be just exactly what is needed in these dark times:

A Texas theater shut down a few weeks ago. This week they decided to turn their outside wall & parking lot into a drive-in theater with free screenings & carry-out food for sale. Every ticket through Tuesday has been sold out and the theater is planning on adding additional showtimes to meet demand.

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54 replies
Sr. Member
Aug 15, 2009
934 posts
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Montreal
Good initiative but will most likely not work in Qc. The government banned group & gathering.
Deal Addict
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May 31, 2009
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We still have the drive-in in Oakville, but they won’t open it. Right now they couldn’t do any first run shows and would probably run some older ones if anything. The owner of that Texas theatre is a regular on another set of boards I’m on. (User name SBLFilms) He said yesterday that he has the drive-in booked for a few Easter Day church sessions for $2500 each.
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Deal Fanatic
Apr 30, 2003
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Toronto
It's not that they don't want to show first run movies. It's the studios that won't release them as they want more return when the traditional cinemas open back up.

Drive in cinema can still make money, but ther is limited space for viewing ans they do make money selling concessions. They need to get a system where its safe for customers and employees to sell it and reduce risk.
Member
Dec 14, 2008
200 posts
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Vancouver
PCDawg wrote: It's not that they don't want to show first run movies. It's the studios that won't release them as they want more return when the traditional cinemas open back up.

Drive in cinema can still make money, but ther is limited space for viewing ans they do make money selling concessions. They need to get a system where its safe for customers and employees to sell it and reduce risk.
Yea man even Fast 9 got pushed back by 11 months!
[OP]
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Jan 12, 2020
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lead wrote:
I had selected a GIF for RFD which cut the clip before the NSFW scene. Won't somebody think of the children!?! ;)
Last edited by goodking on Apr 6th, 2020 6:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Aug 16, 2010
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I wouldn't be able to stand the one-speaker mono sound and no bass. On the other hand, no idiots kicking my seat almost balances it out.
[OP]
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Jan 12, 2020
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^ Modern drive-in movie theatres broadcast over an unused FM frequency direct to your car stereo system.

It's not like the "good" old days:

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Jr. Member
Nov 29, 2009
197 posts
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London
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I'd like to go to the "Drive-In" again even if it was just for nostalgia sake . Haven't been in over 30 years but can anyone find a vehicle to rent with a front bench seat to curl up with your significant other?
WISDOM IS JUST A HIGHER LEVEL OF COMMON SENSE ...
[OP]
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Jan 12, 2020
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The Only Theater Screening New Movies Is a Drive-In in Ocala, Florida

"According to Deadline, only 14 movie theaters in all of the U.S. were open last week, and 13 of them were drive-ins. Just one of those theaters was showing first-run films: the Ocala Drive-In in Ocala, Florida. Writer Ernie Smith discovered, and shared in a fascinating and thorough Twitter thread, that the Ocala Drive-In was responsible for the entire revenue of the top-grossing film of last weekend: the arthouse horror flick Swallow, bringing in $1,710....

He sectioned off every other parking space with rope and fencing so each car has 10 to 16 feet between one other (meaning his max capacity is just 40% of the usual amount); people can order concessions online and an employee wearing a mask and gloves will deliver to their car, stretching out their arm to reach the driver's outstretched arm so they can stay six feet apart; Watzke patrols to make sure no one with lawn chairs ventures out of their designated space; kitchen employees wear masks and gloves; food runners trash their gloves after delivering each order; trays are disinfected after each use; employees get their temperature taken at the start of their shift then again every three hours. There's a lot more, but you get the picture."
Jr. Member
Nov 29, 2009
197 posts
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London
goodking wrote: The Only Theater Screening New Movies Is a Drive-In in Ocala, Florida

"According to Deadline, only 14 movie theaters in all of the U.S. were open last week, and 13 of them were drive-ins. Just one of those theaters was showing first-run films: the Ocala Drive-In in Ocala, Florida. Writer Ernie Smith discovered, and shared in a fascinating and thorough Twitter thread, that the Ocala Drive-In was responsible for the entire revenue of the top-grossing film of last weekend: the arthouse horror flick Swallow, bringing in $1,710....

He sectioned off every other parking space with rope and fencing so each car has 10 to 16 feet between one other (meaning his max capacity is just 40% of the usual amount); people can order concessions online and an employee wearing a mask and gloves will deliver to their car, stretching out their arm to reach the driver's outstretched arm so they can stay six feet apart; Watzke patrols to make sure no one with lawn chairs ventures out of their designated space; kitchen employees wear masks and gloves; food runners trash their gloves after delivering each order; trays are disinfected after each use; employees get their temperature taken at the start of their shift then again every three hours. There's a lot more, but you get the picture."
That's awesome for Americans but do you know of any doing that in Ontario? TIA
WISDOM IS JUST A HIGHER LEVEL OF COMMON SENSE ...
[OP]
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Jan 12, 2020
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fortune500 wrote: That's awesome for Americans but do you know of any doing that in Ontario? TIA
It's a bit early for drive-in season in any year, but who knows how it will end up playing out this particular summer. It could end up being a possibility using the pandemic social distancing rules used by the Florida drive-in above. Of course, the other issue will be getting first-run films with the studios holding them all back, but an oldies night sounds pretty darn attractive right now.

The only drive-in I ever go to anymore is the charmingly old-school and well-run Mustang Drive-In in Prince Edward County, but here's an article listing Ontario's 17 remaining drive-in theatres.

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Jr. Member
Nov 29, 2009
197 posts
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London
goodking wrote: It's a bit early for drive-in season in any year, but who knows how it will end up playing out this particular summer. It could end up being a possibility using the pandemic social distancing rules used by the Florida drive-in above. Of course, the other issue will be getting first-run films with the studios holding them all back, but an oldies night sounds pretty darn attractive right now.

The only drive-in I ever go to anymore is the charmingly old-school and well-run Mustang Drive-In in Prince Edward County, but here's an article listing Ontario's 17 remaining drive-in theatres.
I checked out the link you provided and noticed your fav picton drive-in has a ownership change after 30 years! The couple and their family that ran it sold in early April. Was cool reading about their story of buying a run down one screen drive-in and turning it into something special with all the memories that goes with that process. Let's hope new owners don't re-sell it for condo mad prospectors.
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WISDOM IS JUST A HIGHER LEVEL OF COMMON SENSE ...

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