It’s been two months since movie theaters across the country began shutting down due to the COVID-19 pandemic and in an unprecedented move, major studios began delaying release dates for their big summer tentpoles.
Marvel shifted their entire schedule beginning with Black Widow, which moved from April to November, while No Time to Die also saw a delay to the same month and Universal pushed F9 an entire year. And that was just the tip of the iceberg.
But not all theaters have been closed. Ironically, drive-ins have made a comeback during the pandemic, with viewers able to remain in their cars and away from fellow moviegoers. And according to a new report, the number of theaters reopening will be significant this weekend.
According to Variety, “about 200 locations” are now open for business, which doubles the amount we saw only a week ago. Of the 200, roughly 150 are drive-in theaters, with the remaining 50 being smaller brick-and-mortar locations. States where these theaters are situated include Texas, Arkansas, Georgia, Oklahoma and South Dakota.
Honestly, I don’t know which news is bigger, the fact that this is potentially the beginning of theaters coming back or that there are still 150 drive-in theaters in the country.
In any case, while this is certainly encouraging news, studios still aren’t releasing new movies into theaters just yet. This is why the major chains (see: AMC, Regal and Cinemark), remain closed. Understandably, they want to wait until states lift more restrictions so that studios become more comfortable about opening a new film.
But still, this is certainly a step in the right direction. The smaller movie theaters need the business the most, after all. And though it might be a small step in the grand scheme of things, it’s the first real sign that perhaps the movie industry is beginning to wake up. Whether that’s a good idea or not, however, remains to be seen.