Drive-In Theaters May Have the Best Summer Ever
Drive-in theaters may be poised to have their best ever summer in a long time thanks to the corornaviruis. They're the perfect movie venue for the COVID-19 era because it's the type of experience where everyone can realistically limit their exposure to the coronavirus while being around others.
From the "open everything up" crowd, to the "I'm going to stay home and see how this plays out" crowd. The drive-in works for everyone. You can easily practice social distancing by staying in your car. Don't want to risk concession stand food or drinks. You can bring your own. (Check your favorite drive-in's policy on outside food and drink.) Don't want to interact with anyone you don't have to.
The other side of the coin. You want to get some popcorn, you can hop out of your vehicle and head to the concession stand. You can get out of your vehicle and appropriately distanced from others, socialize a little bit. You can at least smile, nod and say hello. You can be around others.
And for those families who have stayed home for the last six weeks or so, to load the kids up in the car and head to the drive-in and have a retro experience watching an older good for all ages film might just be the cure for the quarantine blues.
That said, I wouldn't advise the owners of the Galaxy 10 to tear down their theater building, erect a giant screen, build a new projection and concessions building and bring back the the 50 Drive-in.
While the drive-in movie theater may provide the perfect way to enjoy a movie while social distancing right now I don't think it'll spur significant growth in the drive-in movies. It may expose and increase popularity in drive-in theaters that exist which is a good thing. I just don't think you'll see a lot of new drive-in theaters being built and opened.
If there ever was an area that I would think would support it. It would be the Sedalia / Warrensburg area. Apparently some investors thought the same thing and tried that about 25 years ago. Remember the Sedalia, Diamond, Starz Drive-in on Whitfield Road? That was very short lived. According to cinematreasures.org and their commentators, the drive-in lasted only about six seasons.
That said, if you want to try I'll be the first guy in line to watch a movie at your drive-in. You might even be able to put it where the Sedalia Drive-in was. If you could talk the land owners into letting you put it there. You can still faintly see the old drive-in's footprint on Google Maps. That said, I'd be more inclined to put it somewhere on 50 between Sedalia and Warrensburg with a great art deco sign.