Are Drive-Ins Making a Comeback?


Kaya Perry, Co-Editor

The first word that people think of when they hear drive-in movie is old-fashioned. Why go to a drive-in movie when he/she can go to a movie theater and relax in a comfy chair? Well, amid the COVID-19 pandemic drive-in movies might be the best solution to social distancing.

The first drive-in opened on June 6, 1933, in the state of New Jersey. Back then, it was referred to as a park-in theater. After this, drive-ins popped up all across the country and even internationally. However, it wasn’t until the 1950s and 60s that drive-ins gained a massive amount of popularity. 

After the oil crisis of the 70s, drive-ins became less comfortable and fun due to the downsizing of cars to save gas. Then, the VCR was invented and people would rather watch movies at home. Drive-ins have only become less popular since then, but there are approximately 300 drive-in theaters up and running today.

“When I was growing up in the 70s and 80s, we attended our drive-in theater at least once a month.  It was so fun to get a group together and watch the movie from our cars and trucks.  There was even a playground to the side for the younger children.  I would definitely be a drive-in moviegoer if we had one in Horry County,” shares Ann Twigg, one of our English teachers.  

Many people have forgotten about drive-ins, and some don’t even know they exist. However, this might change in the near future due to COVID-19. Since the population must distance themselves from one another, no one can go to the movies if they find themselves bored during the lockdowns. Drive-ins are a simple solution to cure boredom. 

Being stuck at home for this long of a time period is detrimental to physical and mental health. Drive-ins can help people get out of their homes, but stay safe at the same time. This would bring in a good amount of revenue and recognition to the drive-ins. As their popularity grows people might find themselves visiting them more and more. 

“I would love to have a drive-in theater in Horry County. I’ve never been to one, but I hear they’re lots of fun. Plus, I think it’d be cleaner than going to a theater where people have sat in for hours,” comments Sydney Speigner, a freshman.

At the moment, many of America’s running drive-ins are closed down because they aren’t an essential business. However, this could change if more people realized that these businesses are safe. The population can gather publically and not worry about being at risk to COVID-19. The only problems are concession stands since they are not contactless. However, drive-in owners are working hard to find a solution. 

Although there isn’t much to do publically, drive-ins may be one more exciting thing added to that list. They may not be as popular as they were in the 50s and 60s, but they would definitely ease stress and give the public a chance to feel a little more normal throughout this abnormal time. Maybe one day they’ll build one in Horry county!