Drive-in movie theaters make a comeback in New Jersey because of social distancing


As summer approaches drive-in theaters may become a popular way to enjoy a film while social distancing.

Sam Skolnick

Due to social distancing guidelines, movie theaters all across New Jersey are closed. Despite the low number of drive-in theatres left, they may be the perfect answer to being able to enjoy films while still practicing social distancing.

The first drive-in movie theater was opened in 1933 in Camden, New Jersey and about 75 years later, the first streaming service was invented. However, after the near-death of drive-in theaters, they may have a comeback due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to, businessman PJ Windle is planning on opening a pop-up drive-in movie theater in Wall, NJ. Windle is also reaching out to owners of large parking lots to try and bring drive-in theaters back to areas all of their first home — New Jersey. 

History teacher Bill Clark explained that towns such as Brick and Jackson are planning to hold outdoor screenings and he is excited that, “they [drive-in theaters] are having a comeback.”.

In the days of streaming through a plethora of services including Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime, students may feel that these services show more positives than drive-in theaters. 

Sophomore Hannah Schwartzberg of Ocean explained that programs such as Netflix Party are the perfect way to connect with people over long distances.

“During this time, I would love to have the chance to go to a drive-in movie theater with some friends. However, I still believe using programs like Netflix Party are more useful for people who live farther away as well as it gives you more options on movies,” Schwartzberg said. “Still, there is nothing like watching a movie in person with others.” 

Others, such as sophomore Jacob Irwin of Middletown, feel that although drive-in theaters may lack quality, they “can be fun with the right people.”

Once quarantine concludes and leaving the house becomes a part of everyday life again, drive-in theaters will provide the opportunity to be together once more. This may just be the turning point needed to bring back the classic way of viewing a film while still adhering to the new guidelines.

“I think in a time like this, I would prefer drive-in theaters over streaming,” said sophomore Kara Petrosino of Colts Neck. “As we begin to move towards reopening the country, I think drive-in theaters are the perfect way to allow people to enjoy the world outside their homes while still remaining socially distant.”