Coronavirus: Drive-In Theaters Are Apparent Winners

Cisco Cotto
April 22, 2020 - 6:00 am
Drive In

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Related: McHenry Drive-In To Open May 1

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — It looks as if the only “safe” cinema experience, beyond streaming movies at home, is one that hit its stride decades ago. 

Drive-in theaters are preparing to reopen this spring to potentially boffo box office. 

“The fact that people feel safe and secure within their vehicle means that they are in their little cocoon of safety, and then they can go to a drive-in and get that communal moviegoing experience,” says Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for the box office tracking company Comscore.

“You just look over at the people in the cars next to you. You’re all watching each other laugh or react to the movie. It’s like the next best thing to being in a traditional brick-and-mortar movie theater.”

Drive-ins typically show second-run movies at a discount price. Dergarabedian wonders if the sudden relevance of the old-school format will spur a change and send first-run flicks to the outdoor venues. 

“Maybe the after-effect is that drive-ins are given that shot at those first-run movies.”