STEPHENS CITY, Va. (CNN) – As the economy struggles to survive in the new COVID-19 era, a look to the past is bringing back one type of business.
“Right now it’s not looking so good. I hate it when it looks like this,” said James Kopp, drive-in movie theater operator.
“Small businesses are suffering. If it wasn’t for my retirement accounts, we would not be able to put the show on,” said the drive-in movie operator.
“People are seeing it as a safe environment a safe way to come out to see the movies,” said Kopp.
“To me it’s like, ‘Yes! Oh my goodness! Like we are back in it, we are bringing the community back together! Yes!'” said the drive-in movie theater operator.
“I am here with my kiddos,” said Brandy Stepaniak, drive-in patron.
“We drove maybe about an hour to get here,” said Eugene Chang, another drive-in patron.
“We drove from Washington, D.C. It’s our first time out of the house in a couple of weeks,” said Derek Goldstein, drive-in patron.
“We are seeing a lot of new folks that are coming through those gates,” said Kopp.
“It sort of feels like normalcy, if you will,” said Chang.
“It definitely worked out in this pandemic time,” said Stepaniak.
“We are at least six feet away. We can stay in our cars if we need to,” said Chang.
“And to me, it’s great. Because, because the drive-in is an experience,” said the drive-in movie theater operator.
“We want to do a celebration of appreciation to all of the essential workers out there and give these fine folks the biggest round of horns they’ve ever heard. Let’s hear those horns!” said a drive-in movie theater employee.
“We’ll see concession food going. Folks buying popcorn and drinks,” said Kopp.
“You must provide space between that vehicle,” said the drive-in movie theater operator.
“I feel like it gives you a distraction to some degree,” said Stepaniak.
“Everyone needs a distraction right now, for sure,” said Goldstein.
“By watching the movie under the stars, it just gives you that break for an hour and a half, two hours to relax to kind of go, take a deep breath,” said Kopp.
“I think the next 12 months, 18 months it’s going to be all drive-ins,” said Goldstein.
“It helps to make things seem not as bad in the world. Things will get better, it’s just going to take time to get there,” said Stepaniak.
“The American drive-in theater rides again,” said the drive-in movie theater operator.