Sit Back: Drive-In Theaters Make a Come Back

Photo by F R Childers Photography on flickr

Photo by F R Childers Photography on flickr

Nathan Bonello

The popularity of drive-in theaters sprung from 1950-1960 when nearly 4,000 locations were built nationwide.  There was a high demand for the theater industry as the public wanted more theaters built. These drive-in theaters were built mostly in rural areas to fit a large number of guests at once.

Drive-in theaters once used to be all over California. The incline of home entertainment slowly made most drive-in theaters obsolete. Leaving only a few theaters to stay open.

In the 1970s, the home entertainment market grew each year. As said in Pritchett, Morgan’s article  Death of the Drive-In Theaters“energy crisis led to the adoption of daylight saving time…this affected the start times of films at drive-ins.” During this energy crisis, a Daylight Saving Time act was signed by president Nixon to hopefully conserve power across America. This affected every form of entertainment across the country. Sports and other forms of entertainment including drive-in theaters had to deal with the energy crisis. With the introduction of the VCR, color T.V, and VHS Stores, drive-in theaters failed to keep up until this year. Enter the pandemic. 

Movie watchers across Southern California are eager to get out of the house, and what better way to spend that time than to go to a drive-in movie theater. These theaters across Southern California are opening and expecting a lot of guests. One within reach of Hesperia is Skyline Drive-in in Barstow California. 

Kaleigh McNelis, a student from Sultana High School says, “I went to the Barstow theater July 12th and yes I did enjoy the experience.” The drive-in theater is a great opportunity to be with friends and family while social distancing. 

When the United States began a lockdown on nonessential businesses, Americans noticeably expressed that they did not want to stay stuck inside. Theaters closed down across the country and all the movies that were going to be released had to be released through streaming platforms or to not be released at all. 

The public truly missed going to not only the movie theater but every nonessential business. The people of America wanted a safer option for public entertainment, so businesses took advantage of that.

When there is a need for public service, businesses find a way to solve people’s wants and needs. According to CBS Los Angeles, Ontario Airport launched a drive-in movie series. This event is free but Ontario Airport is profiting from concessions. This event encouraged other drive-in theaters to open. 

The lockdown did change all people’s lives. It shifted everyone’s perspective of this country. Sometimes, one just needs a break to relax and calm down. So go support one’s local small business and drive-in theaters because those people are still working to benefit the average American.