San Antonio-area movie theater debuts temporary drive-in during COVID-19 shutdown
Tired of streaming movies in your living room? Bummed out that you can’t munch popcorn in front of the big screen? Like a Marvel superhero, EVO Entertainment Group has come to the rescue.
On Friday, March 27, the Austin-based movie theater chain will debut its new drive-in “theater” in the parking lot of its temporarily closed location in Schertz. The movie being shown at the premiere of the drive-in is Spider-Man: Far From Home.
EVO announced the new initiative March 25. All tickets for the free 7:45 pm screenings on March 27, 28, and 29 already have been claimed. EVO plans to put on screenings seven nights a week at the Schertz location. To learn about future screenings, visit evodrivein.com.
The drive-in will admit roughly 200 vehicles per showing. All films will end ahead of the city’s 10 pm curfew.
Screenings are being done only in Schertz and not at EVO’s five other theaters in the San Antonio area, Austin area, or Hill Country. The Schertz drive-in will be open for the “foreseeable future,” the company says.
“This is a difficult time for everyone, so we’ve made it our goal to find a way to spread positivity within our communities while sharing in the responsibility of social distancing during this crisis,” Mitch Roberts, CEO of EVO, says in a release. “Our current climate has challenged us to adapt and develop innovative ways to continue to provide entertainment to our communities, and we are thrilled to give our guests an opportunity to enjoy a fun night out away from their homes in a safe way.”
At each screening in Schertz, guests will be able to order food and beverages through EVO’s new mobile order app. Payment will be accepted only through the app. Food and beverage purchases aren’t mandatory.
An EVO employee wearing safety gloves will deliver each order to the driver’s side door of a vehicle. EVO requests that guests not open that door until the food runner is about 10 feet away from the vehicle.
Through the app, a customer can donate to a fund benefiting EVO employees who are out of work because of the coronavirus pandemic. Before the pandemic forced the shutdown of an array of businesses, EVO employed more than 1,000 people at its now-closed theaters in Schertz, New Braunfels, San Marcos, Kyle, and Fredericksburg, and at its Austin headquarters.
To transform the Schertz parking lot into a drive-in, special white paint has been applied to the exterior wall of the theater, and sound will be transmitted to each vehicle through the in-car radio. Indoor bathrooms will be available for guests, but access will be limited to encourage social distancing.