For the most, theaters have temporarily closed down. That is, of course, before chains started getting innovative with how they present movies. When it comes to EVO Entertainment, the Texas-based chain is testing the possibilities of converting their existing theaters into drive-in theaters so that movie-goers can continue with their best social distancing practices. This past weekend, EVO's Shertz, Texas location debuted a drive-in theater concept by hauling a projector outside and screening Spider-Man: Homecoming on a portion of the building's exterior wall that's been painted with special high-grain white paint.
According to a statement released by EVO boss Mitchell Roberts, the first screening was a jam-packed affair that saw the theater's parking lot full of cars in special parking patterns so as not to be too close to one another. "This is a difficult time for everyone, so we've made it our goal to find a way to spread positivity within our community while sharing in the responsibility of social distancing during the crisis," Roberts told Forbes.
EVO says tickets to its concept drive-in theater are free and spots in the parking lot are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. While there aren't concessions per se, EVO has a full kitchen open during the screenings that guests can order food through. EVO went the length to develop a custom mobile app specifically for this drive-in concept, where all payment happens so as to avoid a cash exchange. EVO employees then hand-deliver the food while wearing nitrile gloves. There are also indoor restroom facilities available with special sanitary measures in place.
To adhere to Texas' new curfew guidelines in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, each movie begins promptly at dusk so that everyone can be home by 10:00 p.m. when the curfew goes into effect. As with the traditional drive-in setup, audio from the movies is available on a car's AM/FM radio.
As the pandemic continues to stretch on, it stands to reason more theater locations will begin to make similar moves — especially should closures and social distancing processes continue to extend into the summer months.