+the scene
+the scene

Amidst the Pandemic, Drive-Ins Are Making a Comeback!

07-09-2020 by Paige Pfeifer

  ( © Aurelien Morissard/Xinhua via Getty Images)  


There’s a certain nostalgia blanketed over everything right now, some feeling of grief or regret or sentimentality toward the way things used to be. In this current case, we’re missing how life was a mere four months ago, pre-pandemic. Everything feels very personal yet globalized at the same time. However, the immediacy of this nostalgia doesn’t equate to a newness; humans have always felt a certain longing for the past. 


In our quest to cobble together some sense of normalcy, we’ve been clinging to the past like a security blanket; one of the most notable manifestations of this collective urge is the revival of the drive-in theater.


We are excited to announce the opening of Dairy Drive-In! Join us this Friday and Saturday nights for our first Drive-In movie in the Dairy parking lot - FANTASTIC FUNGI!!! Purchase your tickets in advance. INFO & TIX through the link in our profile. ? . . . . #dairyartscenter #driveinmovie #drivein #driveintheatre #driveins #driveintheatre #drivein #driveinmovie #driveinstyle #driveinmovies #fantasticfungi #timelapse #timelapsevideo #fungi #themagicthatunitesus #themagicbeneathus #mycelium #magickingdom #wearethechangers #louieschwartzberg #arthousecinema #arthousefilm #coloradical #bouldercolorado #boulderco #downtownboulder #boedeckercinema #instafilm #indiefilmsource

A post shared by Dairy Arts Center (@dairyarts) on

Jun 9, 2020 at 10:58am PDT


The first drive-in theater was opened in 1933 to provide a more flexible alternative to traditional indoor theaters. Patrons could walk around and stretch their legs, talk at a normal volume, and enjoy a film from the comfort of their own cars. After the 1950s, however, the popularity of the drive-in hit a decline, one that wasn’t remedied until very recently. Culturally speaking, Americans have always enjoyed looking back and fantasizing about the American Dream. Drive-ins are remnants from an era that represented that Dream, that idea that hard work was all one needed to achieve success and happiness.




As we’re learning to navigate this era of social distancing (a term I’m sure we’re all sick of by now), the drive-in provides the perfect opportunity to feel normal again. Or, as close as possible. Going to the movies, breathing fresh summer air, being around other people... it’s no wonder popularity has surged in recent months, in a time when those small liberties we had taken for granted have gone away. 


Due to the nature of the drive-in theater, at which families sit in their own vehicles to watch movies, there is a significantly decreased risk of catching the virus. The low level of contact provides some comfort to theater-goers looking for something to break the monotony of the country-wide shutdown. 




This virus has put a halt on the way things normally function, but if we look back and reflect, we’ll realize this is just an intermission, a time to recoup and decide what’s to come next. As nice as it is to look back, there is also comfort in looking forward with anticipation for what’s to come.


Click here to find a drive-in near you!