Virus Lock Down Sparks New Love Affair Between Indie Films and Drive-ins

For decades the common wisdom has been that indie films and drive-in theaters do not go together. That is because drive-ins need the big, blockbuster movies featuring mainstream celebs to draw substantial audiences. But due to the virus lock-down, all that is now changing…

The lock-down from the Covid-19 pandemic has caused indoor theaters around the country to be shuttered and has forced many in the movie business to get creative with strategies like delaying release dates.  But IFC Films found a genuine silver lining: drive-in theaters, a theatrical experience uniquely suited to social distancing that also needed new films.  In just two weeks, the IFC Films release of the indie supernatural horror film, The Wretched has made over $200,000 from drive-ins alone–some of which are only open on the weekends for a single showing a night.

Things are going so well that IFC said it will continue releasing films in drive-ins and other studios are getting in on the action as well.  Tribeca Enterprises, IMAX and AT&T are partnering for the “Tribeca Drive-In,” a series of new and classic films, music and sporting events that will launch nationwide on June 25.

This new shift is good news for indie film lovers and also great news for owners of drive-in theaters.  Prior to the virus lock-down drive-in theaters made up 1.5% of the movie-going business in North America. But according to data from Comscore, since the virus lock-down, drive-in theaters now account for over 91% of the movie-watching business.

There are only 300 locations for drive-in theaters left in the United States and only around 100 that are currently open. Perhaps this lock-down inspired shift in movie-going behavior will be the impetus for new drive-in theaters to open up going forward.



Contributor: Gary//Fact Source: Associated Press