Amid the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, many businesses have been suffering. The movie industry is no exception. The most recent James Bond movie, No Time to Die, was delayed months in anticipation of a potential loss of revenue from the diminished movie goer count. Delays like these are hugely detrimental to Hollywood. Movies work on such a tight schedule, and the release date is only a single point on a highly detailed timeline.
Let's talk a minute about drive-in theaters. Drive-in theaters have always been a bit of a novelty. You take your car and your date to a parking lot where everyone faces a projector screen. You tune your radio station to the right frequency, and you have your own private-yet-public space to watch a new release. Unfortunately, drive-in theaters have fallen out of fashion, and many have given up their space to urban sprawl. What if there could be a case to bring them back in 2020?
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The virus outbreak has made more people practice social distancing - a form of reducing the risk of infection by keeping your distance. A drive-in theater gives you the opportunity to get out in public, but watch a movie from the confines of your car. The inherent distance between the cars fulfills the need of staying away. The driving fulfills that need to get out of the house after being stuck in there for days. I think a case could definitely be made.
Now, will it happen? No, probably not. The second people start getting out of their cars or rolling down their windows, we are right back where we started. As a thought experiment, it's a fun little "what-if," but the reality of it is that it is just better for us all to stay home than it is to deploy new business plans. Give it some time, though, in a few weeks, I bet we'll all be stir crazy enough to drive anywhere for just some sort of semblance of normal life.