Drive-in Theaters and Live Entertainment Witnessing Booming Growth During COVID-19 Pandemic
Drive-in theaters and live entertainment are certain parts of the entertainment industry that have been able to thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic. Drive-in concerts or drive-in cinema is the new alternative to avoid crowded places such as cinema halls or crowded areas in a live concert. The drive-in trend is now the new normal in the entertainment industry.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected many industries, and entertainment industry is not an exception to this. However, certain parts of the entertainment industry have been able to thrive during the pandemic while all others are struggling to sustain. As film studios are delaying new movie releases and the movie theaters being closed due to lockdown, moviegoers have turned towards alternative forms of entertainment that doesn’t break the social distancing rule.
Currently, most gatherings for live entertainment are prohibited and thus, drive-in movie theaters or drive-in live entertainment is one of the few venues that have sustained to operate. Drive-in entertainment businesses have not only managed to keep their business afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic, but have also performed better in these trying times.
What is a Drive-in Theater?
A drive-in cinema or dive-in theater is a form of cinema structure that consists of a projection booth, large outdoor movie screen or stage, a concession stand, and a huge parking area for automobiles. Within this bounded area, people can view movies, live concerts, and live entertainment from the privacy as well as comfort of their cars. Some drive-ins also include few picnic environments such as small playgrounds, benches, or picnic tables.
The Thriving Growth of Drive-in Entertainment Sector During COVID-19 Pandemic
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, movie theatres and cinema halls across the world are facing severe financial losses. This is surging the growth of ‘drive-in’ trend, where people can watch movies, plays, and live concerts within their comforts and without breaking the social distancing rule. Drive-in concerts are the new alternative to standing in a crowded area to see your favorite musician. From Keith Urban to an underground show in Los Angeles becoming the first major stars to hop on the latest drive-in trend, many drive-in concerts have been successfully completed in various parts of the world. For instance, on 7 May 2020, a singer & songwriter, Ben Ballinger performed a drive-in live show for a crowd a small crowd of just 25 cars in Austin, Tex. The folk artist played his entire set, which was sold out in a just few hours, via radio broadcast atop his SUV.
Furthermore, drive-in theaters are also benefitting due to the pandemic crisis. For instance, Germany-based two year-round drive-in theaters, Autokino Essen has sold out every screening since early March when the country went into lockdown. Autokino Essen on April 6 sold 500 tickets for Manta Manta, which is a huge hit German comedy.
From Big Box to Big Screens
The business of drive-ins got even bigger when Amazon.com Inc. and Walmart Inc. entered the fray. Between August 14 to October 21, Walmart partnering with Tribeca Film Festival has installed big screens at 160 of its parking lots across the U.S. The screenings are free for Walmart customers.
Also, Amazon partnered with Outlier Society to showcase a summer drive-in series at an in-car exhibition between July 1 and August 26. It is being hosted at several drive-ins across the U.S., and it is free for the COVID-19-rattled communities. According to Jeff Bock, a senior analyst at Exhibition Relations, it is the safest way to watch movies.
The entry of Amazon and Walmart into the mix, marks a drive-in trend during the pandemic crisis.
Due to the COVID-19 chaos, the entertainment industry is going through a time never seen before. However, the drive-in entertainment sector is still finding ways to be successful and ultimately grow when all other related businesses are struggling to sustain. It can be said that the new drive-in trend has become the new normal for people’s entertainment in the COVID-19 pandemic.
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