Drive-In Movie Theaters Resurge Across the World
By Tess Farrand, Associate Content Editor
Drive-movie theaters across the world are making a comeback, even during the coronavirus pandemic.
“It doesn’t matter what we show, people just want to get out and watch a movie,” Frank Peciak, manager of Autokino Essen drive-in movie theater in Germany told The Hollywood Reporter (THR). According to the entertainment mag, “Autokino Essen, one of only two year-round drive-in theaters in Germany, has sold out every screening since the country went into lockdown in early March.”
Autokino Essen has also reserved special spots for health care professionals who want to take a break from their duties and watch a movie.
In South Korea, drive-in owner Seong-soo Kim said there’s been a 30 percent increase in ticket sales. “We’ve managed to maintain [our business] since the outbreak,” he told THR “People feel the drive-ins are a safer option to enjoy their cultural life.”
THR highlighted that Brian Allen’s Canadian drive-in was shut down but remains optimistic that drive-ins will be among the first entertainment venues to open post- COVID-19.
Driveinmovie.com reports some positivity about open drive-ins in the U.S.:
“Currently, there are about 325 Drive-in Movie Theaters still operating in the United States. There are many more that are permanently closed but still remain standing and could potentially be re-opened at some point in the future. In fact, there have been several drive-in theaters that have been re-opened the past couple of years after sitting dark for 20 and even 30 years.
Despite the resurgence, experts remain skeptical on how COVID-19 will impact the regular theater landscape once things return to normal.
Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter told the New York Post, “Even if we put the virus behind us, lots of people are going to avoid retail and movie theaters till they are comfortable that they are inoculated against the next iteration of the virus.”
Perhaps, we will see more drive-in theaters reopen, playing classic movies and such as theaters get creative to generate revenue, despite empty seats.