Restaurants are Turning Themselves into Drive-In Movie Theaters During Shutdown
An enterprising new trend appears to be emerging: Restaurants shut down by the nearly nationwide lockdown to abate the coronavirus outbreak are turning their parking lots into drive-in movie theaters. And we are so here for it.
A number of restaurants around the country have started showing movies on temporary big screens for patrons to enjoy in the comfort of their own cars. And, what's even better: They can also order food and drinks from establishments that are, quite literally, putting on a show.
Take for example the owner of BJ's Restaurant in Mingus, Texas, who promoted this in a recent Facebook post:
When the world is shutting down we have to go back to our roots for entertainment. Here is a sneak peek of our mobile drive-in movie theatre. Looking for something to do Friday and Saturday night(March 27-28)? Go to BJ's Restaurant & Bar in Mingus, Texas. We will be playing THE SANDLOT at 8:30 PM. We will have a waitress car hop so come sit in your car and turn your radio to 90.3 FM to hear the movie and hang out. Go to our page and like and share.
Ajo Al's is a Mexican food chain in Arizona that also got in the act according to Food & Wine by "setting up inflatable screens in each location's parking lot and showing the Pixar movie Coco to guests, with all cars parked six feet apart." Restaurants around the country are doing the same, though not all have been able to keep it going. Take for example V Pizza in Cary, North Carolina who announced on Facebook, that they had to shut it down:
It is with a heavy heart that we are informing everyone, that starting immediately, we can no longer do the movie screenings in our parking lot. After a lot of conversations with both members of the Cary Police Department, and the District Attorney, we are stopping these procedures and don't have the resources to attempt to challenge it.
Depending on the state, local law enforcement and public health resources may be taxed, and managing a pop-up drive-in movie is an unneeded burden. Another challenge? Patrons who are ordering food and drink need to find a place to, well, relieve themselves. And some parking lots are not yet equipped with portable restrooms.
The restaurant industry has absolutely cratered as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, to the degree that industry experts believe many small restaurant businesses may not survive. Even national fast-food chains are not immune to the coronavirus shutdown, as a recent report noted how only four national chains turned a profit during the first quarter.
Good on these restaurants solving a number of problems in a very creative way.