As coronavirus ramps up, communities across the nation are returning to the ways of times past to get their fill of family entertainment.
Looking back through history, movies have always been what the public turned to in the best of times, but also in the worst. Cheap movies were favored as a form of escapism through the Great Depression, and after months of quarantining through the COVID-19 pandemic, the fantastical need to leave the monotonous standstill of daily life returns with a question – how?
According to a recent study released by the Texas Medical Association – ranked by the TMA COVID-19 Task Force and the TMA Committee on Infections Diseases – movie theaters rank as one of the highest risk environments for COVID-19. That, in lieu of suspended events like Sip-N-Float or Movie in the Park movie nights, brings in the potential comeback of drive-in movie theaters.
Closely following Walmart’s promise to turn 160 of its parking lots into drive-in movie theaters for the summer, the city of Huntsville recreation services will be hosting its own Carpool Cinema next week with a showing of Disney’s 2019 live action rendition of Aladdin.
“It’s going to be kind of similar to the Movie in the Park that our department normally does. With COVID and social distancing requirements, we are doing a Carpool Cinema where everybody is supposed to stay inside their vehicle where they can watch the movie safely and not have to worry,” Huntsville administrative recreation coordinator Kristy Wheeler said.
Reaching peak popularity in the late 1950’s to mid 1960’s, drive-in movie theaters enabled socially distant entertainment before social distancing was even a part of our daily lives. The city of Huntsville’s Carpool Cinema on July 17 will be the first showing for the summer season, however more showings could be in store for the near future.
“I just hope that we get a great turn-out for this and the community can come out and be apart of the first carpool cinema and enjoy a night out with their kids in the cars and movies and snacks,” Wheeler said.
The movie showing will begin at 9 p.m. at the Kate Barr Ross Park field six parking lot located at 486 State Highway 75 N. in Huntsville. Visitors are asked to practice social distancing by staying inside their vehicles and are encouraged to bring their own snacks.