Walmart is converting some of its parking lots into drive-in theaters for the summer. The news comes as the movie industry struggles amid the corona virus pandemic. The nation’s largest retailer is working with actor Robert De Niro’s Tribeca Enterprises. The idea is to create two drive-in experiences. One of which is to transform 160 of its store parking lots into contact-free drive-in movie theaters.
“More than a fun, retro way to see movies”
The Co-founder and CEO of Tribeca Enterprises and TFF, Jane Rosenthal issued a statement. “Drive-ins have been a signature program for Tribeca since we started the Tribeca Film Festival 19 years ago after 9/11. But now, the Tribeca Drive-In is much more than a fun, retro way to see movies. It’s one of the safest ways for communities together. We are thrilled to partner with Walmart to bring more people together around the shared cinematic experiences that Tribeca is known for.”
These theaters are set to open early in August and remain open through October. The schedule includes 320 screenings. Special appearances from filmmakers and celebrities are also in the cards.
Walmart has not disclosed whether attendees will have to pay a price of admission. Although, The retailer says it will sell concessions for moviegoers. They can order online for curbside pick-up ahead of the film screening. Theaters tend to make a good chunk of their profits on concessions, so Walmart could follow in the industry’s lead.
The July program is scheduled to screen Wonder Woman, Space Jam and other films. There will be a mix of ticketed and free events honoring front line workers at various locations. Namely, Arlington, Texas, Pasadena, Calif., Nassau County, NY and Orchard Beach in the Bronx.
Walmart also announced a virtual. “Camp by Walmart.” Drew Barrymore, Neil Patrick Harris, LeBron James, Idina Menzel and Todd Oldham are some of the celebrities roped in. The camp will hold online courses and activities. It can be accessed through the Walmart app and starts on July 8.
Movie theater chains have struggled financially during the pandemic. Major blockbuster releases, including Christopher Nolan’s Tenet and Mulan, keep getting delayed. While movie theaters have seen a steep decline, drive-in theaters have seen an increase in popularity due to their contact-free nature.
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