As lockdown orders are lifting throughout the United States, 200 more movie theater locations are reopening. In March, the coronavirus pandemic forced many states to close down non-essential businesses that create large gatherings of people, including movie theaters. While some states allowed movie theaters to remain open, major chains like AMC, Regal and Cinemark closed all of their locations nationwide. These major chains intend to remain closed until mid-summer when new films Tenet and Mulan are slated to release.
According to Variety, the lack of new feature film releases isn’t stopping some smaller movie theaters from opening. Drive-in movie theaters, for instance, are making a comeback. Of the 200 movie theaters reopening, 150 are drive-in movie theaters. Not including the new drive-in movie theaters being built, nearly half of the country’s drive-in movie theaters are reopening, allowing people to enjoy movies in a socially distant way from their cars. Additionally, 50 traditional movie theaters are reopening in several states. Texas currently has the most traditional movie theaters open out of any state at 29. Arkansas, Georgia, Oklahoma and South Dakota have also followed suit in reopening traditional movie theaters.
While small movie theaters have still been operating during this time, their profits have stilted with reports of box office grosses few and far between. Drive-ins, however, have been thriving during these times. Mission Tiki in Montclair, California was reported to be the top-grossing drive-in and their business increased by 193%! With 150 more drive-ins open, movie-goers across the country will finally be able to get their fix.