If it wasn't clear that drive-in movie theaters have made a comeback, it certainly is now. Walmart, one of the biggest retailers in the world, has teamed with Tribeca to host a series of screenings this summer at its stores. Walmart will turn 160 of its parking lots into pop-up drive-ins starting in August.
Programming details weren't made available yet so it isn't clear what movies will be shown. The event, in total, will feature a combined 320 showings. This family-friendly night will include hit movies, special appearances from filmmakers and celebrities, as well as concessions delivered right to customer vehicles. Walmart's drive-in tour will run through October. The following message appears on a website that has been created for the screening series.
"Get ready for the most amazing family drive-in movie tour ever. Starting in early August, we're popping up safe, socially distanced drive-in events at Walmart Supercenters across America."
Movie theaters have been shut down in the U.S., and around much of the world, since mid-March. Given that people have still wanted to see movies, and more so just need something to do, drive-ins have seen something of a massive resurgence. The fact that Walmart is now getting in on the action truly speaks to that. Jane Rosenthal, CEO and Co-Founder of Tribeca Enterprises and Tribeca Film Festival, had this to say in a statement.
"Drive-Ins have been a signature program for Tribeca since we started the Tribeca Film Festival 19 years ago after 9/11. But now, the Tribeca Drive-In is much more than a fun, retro way to see movies, it's one of the safest ways for communities to gather. We are thrilled to partner with Walmart to bring more people together around the shared cinematic experiences that Tribeca is known for."
Traditional movie theaters are currently expected to begin reopening at the end of July. AMC, Regal and Cinemark, the three largest chains in the country, have all announced plans to be open in time for the release of Christopher Nolan's Tenet and Disney's Mulan. Both blockbusters were recently delayed to August and, with that, all of the chains delayed their openings as well. Point being, it is a fluid situation and it's hard to know when it will truly be safe to head back to a theater. So Walmart is obviously jumping on that opportunity to do something a little different for families in need of entertainment.
On the flipside, in as much as something can be safe these days, drive-ins allow for a communal viewing experience with far less risk. These relics of the past that were, at very best, a niche market just a handful of months ago are now keeping the box office alive in the U.S. So much so that a gigantic corporation is now making use of them. It is a remarkable turn of events. Those who are interested in keeping up with details for these upcoming screenings can head on over to WalmartDrive-In.com.