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Drive-In Movies Are Back: Are You and Your Car Ready?

As a result of social distancing, a classic pastime has made a comeback. Drive-in theatres have started popping up across the country as people look for fun ways to gather safely. Here’s a look at what you should know about attending a drive-in movie.

Cars lined up outdoors at a drive-in movie theatre


Why are drive-ins suddenly so popular?

In the spring of 2020, regular cinemas were forced to close due to COVID-19 restrictions and drive-in theatres started opening. Even though the majority of cinemas have since reopened, many people are continuing to enjoy the drive-in experience. Some argue that drive-in theatres are safer than regular cinemas, as you can avoid touching surfaces and easily stay two metres apart from your neighbours. Plus, by being outdoors, you’re better protected against the spread of airborne contagions. Drive-in movies also have a certain retro charm that many find appealing.


What regulations are in place?

Drive-in theatres have various practices and policies aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19. For one, the parking spaces for cars are wider apart so that everyone can remain at a safe distance from one another. Moreover, drive-in concessions are set up to minimize the risk of contagion. In fact, many theatres are using apps that allow customers to order food and drinks from their cars. Finally, washrooms and other areas of the business are frequently disinfected.


Tips for safely attending a drive-in movie

First and foremost, make sure to bring along your mask in case you need to go to the washroom or head to the concession stand. In the same vein, you should bring along hand sanitizer.

It’s also important to think about your car battery. To listen to the movie’s audio track, you need to turn your car radio on (and tune it to the right station). This means that your car battery will need to be running. While newer batteries should have about eight hours of juice in them, older batteries can drain in less than a couple hours — potentially before the film is over. So, unless your battery is brand new, you should take some precautions.

Specifically, you should make sure all lights including interior lights, headlights and taillights are off. If you have an older car battery, consider bringing it in for a battery test before heading to the theatre.

Alternatively, you can take along a portable radio so that you don’t have to keep your car on. Finally, be sure you have jumper cables in your car just in case you end up needing them.


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