Direct View: Drive-In Theaters Have Gone From Nostalgia To Necessity


In recent years, going to a drive-in movie has been a quaint, fun night out for many Americans. The coronavirus pandemic and the need for social distancing has turned drive-in events from nostalgia to a necessity.

Many organizations have brought the drive-in back into vogue, hosting movie night or concerts that allow families to get out of the house and do something together without the risks that now come with a cinema or sports stadium.

Miles Dean, Business Development Manager, Sports & Entertainment of Unilumin USA, said it’s an innovative solution to the challenges currently facing the entertainment industry.

“How are we going to engage with people from an interactive perspective and still keep them safe? This is one way to engage with your people if you have a large parking lot or a large area and still want to keep people safe, a lot of times it’s a bar and they post this nice, large screen, they bring in food trucks, so they’re supporting other local businesses in the area,” Dean said.

Luckily, we’re not still relying on the same technology the past generations were to see their newsreels and films. With LED screens, entertainment companies can think of putting on events during the day, Dean said, and know the audience will still be able to see the programming and messages being displayed.

“Most of these applications are outdoors, so you’re definitely going to want something that’s IP65 rated which can stand sun rays, dust, weather elements that just happen to go along with something like this,” he said. “You definitely want something that’s going to be bright, that can really pop so you can put it up during the day time.

“A lot of these older drive-in theaters are still using projection so they have to have low lighting or the sun has to set so they can put on the movie and have everybody see it. With the LED you don’t have that time restriction. You can have that sucker pop nice, vibrant and have great colors and everything else midday.”

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