While the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown has forced us out of our beloved movie theaters, put production in limbo, and placed a hold on the film industry in general, the pandemic brings promising hope in the revival of a true American classic – drive-ins. Across the country, more and more drive-in movie theaters are being recreated and reopened, to the joy of cinephiles and nostalgists alike.
In places like Maryland, California, Massachusetts, and more, these theaters are being re-established for the summer, offering a unique opportunity to enjoy something long-thought extinct. The drive-in was a cultural landmark of the 1950’s and beyond, serving as a place where communities could grab food, meet with friends, make out and, most importantly, watch great movies. They began to decline in the late 20th century due to the greater accessibility of films, including movie theaters, TV, and, eventually computers.
This could be crucial for the summertime blockbusters whose releases may have to be postponed due to the closing of most theaters, such as Christopher Nolan’s Tenet. Even if these new releases don’t come out in theaters of any kind this summer, drive-ins will offer a chance for viewers to spend time with the communities they have been forced to avoid.
This summer could be special for contemporary moviegoers, giving them the chance to experience what was formally a mythical relic of American cinema’s past.