LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — In the age of coronavirus and social distancing, old school drive-in theaters are in demand again in 2020.
Drive-in theaters once dotted the Southern California landscape. Over the years, movie-watchers abandoned them for air-conditioned multiplexes with cushioned seats, and many of them were razed to make way for shopping centers and other developments.
But a few of them survived, and have seen a steady resurgence in popularity since the global pandemic struck. And even with movie theaters starting to reopen in California, all of them are doing brisk business among people who want to watch a film on the big screen, but not indoors with dozens of strangers.
At least five drive-in theaters still operate within reasonable driving distance of Los Angeles. Two of them are in Riverside.
- Paramount Twin Drive-In in Paramount
- Vineland Drive-In in La Puente
- Mission Tiki Drive-In in Montclair
- Van Buren Drive-In in Riverside
- Rubidoux Drive-In in Riverside
Admission is generally $10 per adult, and usually includes a double feature. But with movie theaters just now starting to reopen, there are few new films being shown, and some of those that are being shown are doubling up.
Drive-in theater aficionados will also notice that fewer vehicles are being allowed in because of capacity limits, and that they will not be able to spread outside their vehicles for the movies.
Concessions will be available for sale, and people making purchases must wear a mask.
Local municipalities are also getting in on the drive-in movie business. Ontario Airport is launching a drive-in movie series this week, Anaheim will offer “Movies Under the Moon” in July, and Irvine will launch a series of drive-in movies and concerts in August. The Rose Bowl in Pasadena will become a drive-in theater for several weekends this year.
Big music stars are also reaching out to their fans via the drive-in. Garth Brooks is airing a one-night-only concert on June 27 on drive-in movie screens across the country, including at the Mission Tiki Inn, the Paramount Twin in Paramount and at the Ventura Fairgrounds.