Along with restaurants and theme parks, movie theaters across the country have closed in recent days in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak. The virus can easily spread in large crowds of people in close proximity to each other, which means getting out of the house for a few hours to watch a movie is no longer a safe distraction. As the movie industry struggles, the situation has been a boon for one small sector of the business. The Los Angeles Times reports that drive-in movie theaters are actually benefiting from social distancing.
Drive-in theaters have been a dying breed for decades, with roughly 300 of them left in the U.S. But with few traditional options to choose from, movie lovers came out to their local drive-ins in droves on Wednesday, March 18. According to Deadline, the Paramount Drive-in California raked in $1183 that night, and the Sacramento 6 Drive-in made $1039 at the box office.
Several parts of the country have imposed limits on large gatherings to slow the spread of COVID-19, but because a car counts as its own space, the restrictions don't apply to drive-ins. Mass closures of regular movie theaters isn't the only factor in the uptick in business. Most of the places people would normally go to socialize—like bars and restaurants—have become public health hazards. Pulling into a drive-in theater is now one of the few ways to share an experience with others outside the home while practicing safe social distancing.
If your weekend schedule is suddenly clear and you have a car, take the opportunity to support your nearest drive-in movie theater. Here are some of the coolest drive-ins across America.
[h/t Los Angeles Times]