The possible return of the drive-in theater

Although the practice has become unpopular in recent times, the coronavirus situation raises the possibility that the drive-in theater will return .

Cars during a drive-in show.

In season of social distancing, the drive-in theater can be the solution to enjoy cinema. / Photo: Wikimedia - FabSubeject

LatinAmerican Post | Ariel Cipolla

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Despite the fact that many do not know it, the drive-in theater had its glory time. According to what the Infobae website mentions, it was a “rite” that involved watching movies from the seats of a car, which was born in the United States in 1933, having a group of fans that was on the rise.

The most curious thing is that many spectators, immersed in nostalgia, demanded the return of this practice. Others, who never lived it, always asked to "check this experience". We could see this in Argentina, where the media La Nación mentioned that, during 2019, there were functions that were projected in the Rosedal of Palermo.

So let's get a little in context. The coronavirus pandemic affected all the industries where the products are consumed on a massive scale, as is the case with the cinema. Although movies can now be viewed through a computer, the “community” experience seems impossible due to contagion. However, what would happen if the drive-in movie came back?

The possible return of the drive-in in times of coronavirus

A priori, it does not seem like such a crazy idea, since it is being successfully implemented in some countries of the world. One of them is Germany, since, as Rosario3's website mentions, the restrictions on quarantine increased the demand to see films in cars.

Although it seems too early to apply it in Latin America, since most countries still have decreed a mandatory quarantine, the idea could be gradually implemented. In other words, the recovery of the film industry could occur, without the need to expose people's lives, through the drive-in theater.

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As in normal rooms people are exposed to direct contagion, the idea that they only go in a closed vehicle could apply when the quarantine begins to relax. Then, people could attend different rooms, where the minimum and obligatory distances would be respected, and direct contact would be avoided.

The most curious thing is that the idea of drive-in theaters could not only be applied, paradoxically, to the film sector. As mentioned by the Chilean media Teletrece, the Midtjylland team, from the First Division of Denmark, generated an unprecedented proposal: to allow fans to follow the matches in the stadium through their vehicles.


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Although it seems crazy, we would be witnessing a change, at least temporarily, in the way that we consume entertainment. While we know that they are not priority areas at this time, we must understand that it also involves a large number of workers.

In moments where we must relax, in addition to complying with sanitary obligations, the return of this old-school practice could help to have fun and take care of ourselves. It would also allow young people of these generations to experience an intimate outing as a couple or with friends to watch a movie, without the need to share a physical place with strangers.