Drive-in theaters see boom in business during COVID-19 pandemic

As businesses begin to slowly reopen during the pandemic, one, in particular, is seeing a rush in new patrons.

"People don’t really come to the drive in to sit next to someone they don’t know. It’s the experience to get out and escape for a little while," said Brett Williams, owner of Globe Drive-in in Hutto.

Williams said showings at his Drive-in were sold out left and right. Their Monday "May the 4th be with You" Star Wars show was no exception. "I see what’s going on and I feel like we’re offering a service that’s not just entertainment or escapism that theaters have been offering for years, but it’s peace of mind as well," said Williams.

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Typically Williams said the most revenue made for drive-ins is made during one holiday out of the year: Valentine’s Day. "Now it’s like every weekend is Valentine’s Day, so much so we are able to offer new employees jobs," said Williams.

While drive-in movies are open for business, there are a lot of regulations in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. At Williams' location, patrons should make sure they use the bathroom before they drive up. "We have eliminated restrooms at our Hutto location in order to discourage people from getting out of your cars," said Williams.


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Tickets are checked through a closed car window and concessions are ordered online and dropped off at your car. The precautions are in place in order to prevent people from leaving their car, which Williams feels is a reason people are choosing to go to drive-ins in general right now as opposed to doing something else.

RELATED: Texas restaurants, stores, malls, movie theaters can reopen May 1 at reduced capacity

"A lot of people just have that unease even if they are operating at 25 percent capacity. I’m not a fan of wearing masks in public, I do and I see the merit, but that takes away from your escapism. Your car is your car it has your daily germs that’s your life, we are willing to sit in our cars in traffic for hours every day," Williams said. "If you can add a movie to that, more power to you."


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