A Silver Lining For Local Businesses In The Midst Of A Pandemic

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The next few weeks will be a strange time in the United States and will take some getting used to.

The Covid-19 is really just the beginning of the crisis that will shape America’s business landscape possibly for years to come.

Given the nature of the illness, many gathering places such as restaurants, bars, and gyms have been given no choice but to shut their doors to the public. This, of course, has not been good for the economy.

However, this major change in lifestyle has some otherwise forgotten business to suddenly be thriving.

This happens to be the case with the drive-in movie theater here in the United States as well as abroad.

A long queue of cars forms in front of a drive-in cinema in Seoul, as South Koreans look for safer spaces to enjoy a movie without the risk of contracting the coronavirus raging across the world.

Box office numbers in South Korea — which has 8,897 confirmed virus cases — have plummeted in recent weeks due to the epidemic, with authorities urging the public to avoid large crowds.

But at Park Dong-ju’s drive-in cinema, moviegoers can enjoy a film from the comfort of their cars, parked in front of a large outdoor screen.

“We’ve had a 10-20 percent increase in sales for weekdays, and sell out on weekends,” Park said, adding: “We’re definitely getting many more calls and internet inquiries after the coronavirus outbreak.”

The impact was even larger stateside.

The Showboat Drive-In Theater in Hockley, Texas, about a 30-minute drive outside Houston, normally sees ticket sales go down about 40% on a weekend when they don’t have any new movies. Last weekend, they saw a 40% increase, says the theater’s owner, Andrew Thomas. Usually open weekends, Thomas has kept screenings going through the week.

“Obviously this isn’t the way you’d want it to occur, but I’m excited for the idea that there may be a new generation of people that will get to experience going to a drive-in theater and — I was going to say catch the bug,” said Thomas, laughing. “Maybe some other turn of phrase.”

Just remember that the person you plan on taking along to the drive-in is a good quarantine partner before getting too cozy in your car.

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