Walmart to Host Drive-In Movies With Help From the Tribeca Film Festival

No drive-in near you? How about a Walmart parking lot?

Walmart drive-in movie theater in the store parking lot
Drive-in movies in Walmart parking lots — another thing we never thought we'd do in 2020.

One of the businesses that actually stands to benefit from the coronavirus is the drive-in movie theater. From the onset of the pandemic, it was predicted that the dying industry would see a boost as indoor cinemas closed. The only problem? The closest drive-in to you might be hours away, and some states don’t even have any drive-ins left.

Enter: Walmart. The retail giant apparently wants in on the renaissance, announcing this week that it will host drive-in movie experiences at 160 of its store parking lots from August through October. If that sounds too lowbrow for your cinephile tendencies, be aware that they’re partnering with the decidedly sophisticated Tribeca Enterprises, the company behind the Tribeca Film Festival.

“This family-friendly night will include hit movies, special appearances from filmmakers and celebrities and concessions delivered right to customer vehicles,” the company said in a press release. While the movies, celebrities, times and locations have not yet been announced, the impetus for Walmart seems to be clear: take all the concessions money that would be going to theater chains like AMC. 

This isn’t the only drive-in initiative that’s popped up during the pandemic. Tribeca itself has its own drive-in extravaganza touring the country in July, with showings in New York, California, Texas and Florida. And if a Walmart parking lot doesn’t seem as picturesque as the stereotypical rural drive-in setting, the Miami Dolphins have one-upped them both by opening up the Hard Rock Stadium to automotive moviegoers.

Want to see if your local Walmart makes the cut? Check here for updates.

Plus, if you start nodding off at the end of the screening, you can always take a snooze alongside the other vagabonds car camping at Walmart.

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