Drive-ins: Nostalgia of the past comes back due to the coronavirus

Judd Karn

Staff Writer

Some people may have only seen drive-ins in movies, but due to their inherent social distancing attribute, drive-ins are perfect for entertainment during a pandemic.

You may have seen them in classic movies such as ‘Back to the Future Part III’ or brand new films like Adam Sandler’s ‘Hubie Halloween’. Drive-in theaters are making a comeback around the country as people realize how well they are suited for social distancing. People are catching on to how well adapted drive-ins are naturally, politicians are using them to advocate their stance, and bands are performing using the same exact method.

So how do drive-ins work? Here’s a quick synopsis; you pay, drive to a spot, and usually a person comes up with a megaphone or something similar to tell you to switch your radio channel to the one that has the appropriate audio. If you are going to see a band then you would buy the tickets online then show the ticket and go to your spot and put in the correct station. Political rallies go through the same process, parking and putting and the station, except they ask for a donation. These drive-in rallies are free otherwise.
There is, however, a big problem with drive-in theatres: the weather. Rain and snow make drive-ins tenfold harder to operate. In Many states, snow poses a particularly difficult problem during the winter, seeing as how all the snow needs to be plowed, and sometimes it is near possible to plow all of the snow and handle the weather. Luckily, Mission Viejo is located in Orange County, where it barely ever rains, and if it ever snows it is an extreme oddity (like in 1949) so we are able to run drive-ins year-round.

Big companies are also teamed up to make drive-in experiences, for example, Walmart has teamed up with Tribeca to have pop up free drive-ins in their parking lots that show movies such as ‘Black Panther’, ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and ‘Space Jam’. This event lasted from August 14 to October 21 but was said to turn out really well in all 160 of its parking lots that they converted. 

Drive-ins have seen a minor decline since theaters started opening up more and more but they are still much more popular than they were last year at the moment, it could be a fad but that is for the future to tell. 

This presented option generally seems to be up in the air after the pandemic is finished as the big thing keeping drive-ins alive is the effectiveness it has at adhering to social distance. Of course nostalgia plays a big factor in it but not big enough to allure normal movie theaters viewers to go to drive-ins for a better experience.

If you want any of these drive-in experiences you would be in luck, if you want drive-in concert tickets vivid seats is a great site to order them. If you are interested in finding a drive-in theater there are a couple around 40 minutes away, these are Van Buren theater, Paramount Drive-in Theatres, Mission Tiki Drive in Theatre and swap meet, and Vineland Drive-in. Political rallies are no longer visiting cities due to the 2020 election campaign ending so this is not applicable for any of them.

I am glad to see that at least some businesses are being helped to stay afloat with this medium of entertainment during these troubling times. It is very enjoyable to see in this world, recently full of heartbreak after heartbreak, this idea that nine months ago seemed to be a thing going the way of the dinosaurs, surviving only from nostalgia, has had another chance.

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