Drive-in movie theaters provide a safer viewing environment than normal movie theaters. Photo [CC BY-NC 2.0] by adam THEO.
Fountain Valley High School

Adapting to the present with drive-in movie theaters

As the months progress, we start returning to our jobs, school, extracurriculars and other activities as long as we adhere to COVID-19 safety regulations. Many people have also found ways to work around the COVID-19 limitations and entertain themselves — one method being drive-in movie theaters.

Some local movie theaters are already opening up, such as Century Huntington BeachRegency WestminsterRegency Santa Ana and Triangle Square Costa Mesa, each with their own capacity limitations.

However, not everyone feels comfortable attending movies indoors. For those concerned about the safety and risk of indoor movie theaters, there remains a safe and fun method to attend movies outdoors through drive-in theaters.

In October, for example, the Fountain Valley Recreation Center held a Halloween-themed drive-in movie event at Mile Square Park, featuring family-friendly Halloween classics such as “Hotel Transylvania” and “Hocus Pocus.” Reservation for tickets started last September, with tickets for the price of $20 per car.

Upon entering, signs and staff members directed attendees to sign in with staff members farther down the line. All staff wore masks and COVID-19 protective equipment. Once attendees checked in, staff placed row numbers on their front windshields. As attendees drove into the field, staff handed out snack buckets and directed them to their parking spots.

Viewers were advised to arrive approximately 30 minutes before the actual movie began to ensure that there was enough time to check in and set up before the movie.

Some viewers brought chairs and blankets to sit outside of their cars, while others enjoyed the film from their trunks. Viewers also brought their own food and snacks to enjoy during the movie.

Social distancing was definitely in place, with all the cars parked next to each other and appropriately separated rows behind.

To listen to the audio, each car could either tune into a specific radio station or listen to the speakers outside. Unlike regular movie theaters, there was no intermission.

It was an enjoyable night full of laughs and spirit that many have missed from attending in-person movie theaters. Every audience member seemed to be enjoying themselves and their time with their friends and family.

The only difference from attending a regular movie in-person was that audience members sat in the comfort of their own cars, where they could bring their own food and have much more freedom than sitting in a traditional movie theater.

Drive-in movies are a wonderful way to see movies on the big screen, enjoy your time and make memories with your family and friends.