Coronavirus is bringing back movie theaters

Theaters, the symbol of a bygone era before cell phones and constant distraction, are suddenly emerging as a popular form of entertainment during the coronavirus crisis.

Because it is important: Closed cinemas are closed, but people still long for entertainment and the opportunity to get out of their homes. Watching a movie from the safety of a car is the best option.

Driving the news: Before the weekend of July 4, Walmart announced a partnership with Tribeca Enterprises, which is hosting the Tribeca Annual Film Festival, to convert 160 stores into makeshift cinemas.

  • Starting in August, the largest retailer in the United States says it will host “safe and socially distanced drive-in events at Walmart Super Centers across the United States.”
  • The move comes shortly after Tribeca announced its own nationwide summer movie series to drive, which will feature screenings of timeless classics like “‘Jaws” and “Apollo 13” in theaters and elsewhere in Los Angeles, New York and other cities nationwide.
  • Walmart will air movies that match Tribeca’s line of summer series.
  • The screenings will feature star appearances as well as dealerships awarded to customer vehicles, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Get up to speed quickly: At its peak, the self-service industry had more than 4,000 theaters across the country in the 1950s. Now, however, there are not many easily accessible automatic entrances.

  • Before makeshift theaters began popping up across the country in arenas and sports venues, there were only 305 driving spots in the country, with most of them concentrated in New York, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio, and California.
  • Many new self-service pop-ups are still in sands or near big cities.

The panorama: The coronavirus pandemic has completely disrupted the theater industry, forcing most major exhibitors like AMC, Regal and Cinemark to close for many months.

  • They continue to delay reopening dates as Hollywood blockbusters continue to be postponed due to the pandemic.

Be smart: Self-service theaters, like interior theaters, still get most of their money from concessions. While many drive-ins will offer dealerships, consumers will likely weigh the transactional risk of buying snacks from a vendor instead of packing their own in the car.

Whats Next: It is not just the film industry. Drive-in concerts are also in vogue during the coronavirus era.

  • Live Nation, The event promotion and events company announced its first series of drive-in concerts in the United States for July.

Go deeper: Movie theaters face an uncertain future as the country reopens