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Drive-ins Steer Back in Style

By Priya Persaud and Tina Torre

The rise of the pandemic and the monotony of the quarantine that came with it inspired the return of a sixties pastime: drive-ins. Drive-ins, a hotspot for kids, families, and teenagers, peaked toward the end of the 1950s to the mid-60s. However, the rising popularity of these iconic weekend destinations came to a halt as walk-in theaters, video rentals, and in-person concerts took off. It is with complete certainty, however, that the discontinuation of drive-ins did not last for long.

Drive-ins have been appearing across the country, acting as a remedy for quarantine boredom and as a safe alternative to watching movies and concerts. There are many Long Island events that allow people to get involved in the entertainment, convenience, and socially-distant experience of drive-ins. Upcoming showings are occurring in Nassau and Suffolk County at Adventureland in Farmingdale, The Gateway in Bellport and The Vanderbilt in Centerport.

If you do decide to attend a drive-in movie, here are some important tips to get the best experience. Many drive-in venues suggest arriving early so you are able to settle into your desired parking spot. Due to tentative weather conditions, venues may cancel or postpone movie dates, so make sure to check the event websites for the most accurate information. Most tickets are purchased online, and they sell out quickly. Drive-ins today have continued to gain popularity, as seen in New Hyde Park students’ opinions.

They provide a way to temporarily escape reality and enjoy a movie outside, all while being socially distanced...

“I thought it was so fun to watch movies under the stars, and it was really fun bonding with my brothers,” said junior Muskaan Kapoor.

Kapoor also suggests avoiding parking in the front of the lot, for people should take into account the size of the movie screens.

One of New Hyde Park’s very own math teachers, Mrs. Pazik, reminisced about her younger self’s experience with drive-ins, as well as recent ones spent with her own children.

“Drive-ins are the best! I used to go to them with my friends when we were in high school. Now, I love to take my kids to them. We sit in the trunk, and they bring blankets, pillows, and snacks. It’s so fun to be outside in the summer and watch a movie on a big screen from the comfort of your own car,” said Mrs. Pazik.

Drive-in movies are an excellent pastime, especially during these uncertain times. They provide a way to temporarily escape reality and enjoy a movie outside, all while being socially distanced.

Another new drive-in that is making headlines amid the pandemic is drive-in concerts. Drive-in concerts have started to gain popularity due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has wreaked havoc on the live music scene. Many artists have had to reconsider their approach to live performances due to health and safety concerns for all parties involved. BTS, the famous South Korean boyband, had their "Map of the Soul 7" world tour abruptly cut short due to the rising number of cases of coronavirus in the world. Due to their determined efforts to perform their music for fans, they decided to host numerous online concerts to perform their songs, such as their recent "Map of the Soul ON:E" concert. These online events have been proven effective and profitable, but the key spirit of seeing a live performance is missing.

Source from Muskaan Kapoor

Drive-in movies, such as "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes," are becoming increasingly popular.

Having origins in the 1950s and ‘60s, drive-in concerts offer live entertainment from artists, all while enforcing social distancing. Drive-in concerts allow for people to purchase tickets for vehicles, in contrast with the traditional one-ticket-per-person system that has been implemented for so long. One ticket would secure a spot for a car, and gates to the concert area would be open for cars to arrive. Some venues may have designated parking spaces with varying prices, depending on location from the performer.

Allowing space between vehicles, concert-goers enjoy staying outside near their vehicle. LED screens and speakers are set up around the venue to allow for the best possible experience, and food and drinks are allowed. Friends and families are able to enjoy seeing the live performance of their favorite songs all while being in the comfort of their vehicle.

“I feel like a drive-in concert would be a good idea to encourage a sense of community during the pandemic while still being safe and following protocols! It would allow people to just have some fun and let loose, because I feel like that is important with how stressful everything is right now,” said sophomore Julie Joseph.

Drive-in concerts are a great way to provide a sense of normalcy, especially during these uncertain times. Throughout the past few months, there have been numerous drive-in concerts that have occurred in New York, such as The Allman Betts Band in central New York and The Chainsmokers in the Hamptons. Unfortunately, as the cases of coronavirus are slowly increasing, there are no upcoming drive-in concerts planned in New York.

Hopefully, a socially distant concert experience will be available very soon. For now, NHP will have to settle for online concerts, but drive-ins do offer a very promising future for many movies and concerts.


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