Walmart is converting some of its parking lots into drive-in theaters for the summer as the movie industry struggles amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The retail behemoth is converting 160 of its parking lots across the US into drive-ins. These theaters will open in early August and remain open through October. The Walmart Drive-In will feature movies programmed by Tribeca Enterprises, the company behind the Tribeca Film Festival, which recently launched a summer movie drive-in series bringing films, music, and sporting events to as many US drive-ins as possible.
Walmart has not disclosed whether attendees will have to pay a price of admission. Though, ahead of each drive-in screening, Walmart says it will sell concessions for moviegoers, which 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.
Movie theater chains have struggled financially during the pandemic. Chains like AMC and Regal are trying to reopen so they can make money again, though major blockbuster releases, including Christopher Nolan’s Tenet and the live-action remake of 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.