It seems like a million years ago. But it was March of this year, when I wrote this blog post about whether drive-in movie theaters could operate, in a limited capacity, during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
On Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo gave the go-ahead for this idea. As long as drive-in theaters can establish solid social distancing guidelines, they can reopen.
In other words, if you want to see a movie at the Jericho Drive-In this weekend, now’s your chance.
During the pandemic, the Jericho was able to at least operate its Twist ice cream stand during the day, so long as everyone stayed in their cars when they ordered their treats. And now, we can have ice cream … and concession snacks … at the theater, while watching a double feature. Oh man…
Now there will be some rules in place, so what I’m going to do right now is post the rules, as were listed on the Jericho Drive-In’s Facebook page. Pay attention and read carefully.
During this unprecedented time, the drive in experience may be a little different than usual. But it is still a great place to bring your family, friends and dates.
Due to state regulations we will be implementing the following changes/rules to follow when visiting our theater. We hope these modifications will only last for a short period. In the meantime we need to adhere to these rules to avoid being shut down. We are planning a virtual contactless environment for both our employees and our customers. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation during this time.
COVID-19 rules for Jericho Drive In
#1 How do I obtain admission to the drive-in?
Head to our website www.jerichodrive-in.com. Click on the Online ordering button. You will be given three choices. Click on TICKETS.
Choose how many adults and or children’s tickets you want to purchase. Click add to cart. Click on the cart icon at the top of the page. Proceed to check out. We accept all major credit cards and Apple Pay and Google pay. you will receive a confirmation email Once you’ve purchased your tickets head to the drive-in and show is your confirmation or just provide us with your last name.
#2 Once I am inside the drive in, how do I buy my favorite snacks/food?
Head to our website www.Jerichodrive-in.com. Click on the online ordering button on the top left. Click onCONCESSION. Put all your favorite food/snacks in your cart. Head to the online check out and pay. You will receive a text when your order is ready. Come to one of the concession door is labeled 1,2,3 or 4 and pick up your order.
#3. Can I order ice cream while at the drive-in?
Of course! What would a night at our drive-in be without your favorite ice cream after dinner?
Head to our website at www.JerichoDrive-in.com Click on the online ordering button . Click on ICE CREAM. Order up your favorite treat. Pay for it. Once your order is complete you will receive a text. Come to one of the windows at the ice cream stand to pick up your order.
#4 Will the bathrooms be open?
Yes. As long as it doesn’t become an issue. We are hoping that the bathrooms will be for emergency use only. With that being said… Our bathroom will be no different than any grocery store, big box store or any home-improvement store that is currently open for business. We will clean and sanitize the bathrooms at the beginning of each night, before intermission, after intermission and periodically throughout the night. Although we hope to keep the bathroom visits to a minimum, we do understand what a necessity they can be at one time or another. In order to avoid any issues with the restroom usage please adhere to the following rules…
1. Mask on when entering the restroom.
2. Only two people at a time in the bathroom.
3. Please form a line and keep at least a 6 foot
distance while waiting outside.
4. Wash your hands when finished.
#5. Will I be able to set up chairs/blankets outside my vehicle to watch the movie.
At this time, unfortunately the answer is no. We were given the go ahead to open based on the fact that we are low risk. In order to stay that way, for the time being, you will need to remain in your vehicle at all times (other than to pick up your food or ice cream order, or use the bathroom).
We know that this may disappoint some of you, but for now, this is the way it has to be. We ask that you respect the rules so that we don’t get shut down. We hope this changes soon but for now no one outside their vehicle.
#6 I have an SUV- can I still turn it around and sit/lay in the back?
Yes. You must remain inside your vehicle however, no tailgating.
#7 Do I need to wear a mask?
Yes! Absolutely! Of course! Under every circumstance!
Whether you agree with those in power or not, we as a business have chosen to follow those rules so that we can open. For the safety of our employees and each other you must wear a mask while outside your car for any reason. Please do not ruin it for us or the rest of our customers. It doesn’t matter whether it’s three seconds, 30 seconds or three minutes…put your mask on. Please!
#8 It looks like your entrance has changed a bit, how do I get into the drive-in?
Since our ice cream stand is drive-through service only on the outside, we have re-designed our parking lot and exit and entrance out front to accommodate that. Due to that fact, if you are coming to the drive-in, please use the entrance that is in front of the marquee. Just stay to the right hand side until you pass the ice cream stand parking lot, then the drive-in driveway will open up and you will proceed to the box-office. Please stay to the right and pull up to the box office – give us your name and we will find your ticket order. Once we confirm you have pre-purchased tickets, you may then proceed into the drive-in and find your favorite parking spot.
it has been our policy to provide each customer with a trash bag so that they may use it to dispose of their trash in our receptacles or our dumpster. During this time of Social Distancing we kindly ask you to bring your trash bag that was provided to you directly to our dumpster located behind the snack bar. Please do not dispose of trash in the parking lot or on the field. Or you may take it home with you.
These changes/rules are temporary! You may or may not agree with all of these rules we have put in place. but if you would like to visit our establishment you must obey the aforementioned. We hope to be able to revert back to some normalcy at some point this summer. Until such time however, we ask that you follow these rules. Anyone disobeying any of these rules will be asked to leave without a refund!
We thank you in advance for your cooperation and support.
So … I know what I’m doing this weekend. I’m going to watch a late night double feature at the drive-in. For the moment, I can’t leap out of the car, run to the marquee and photograph it, like I sometimes do, but that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to accept.
And if the drive-in reopening proves successful, it could also allow the Jericho (and other drive-ins) to possibly host virtual graduation ceremonies. I know that some schools have talked to the drive-ins about a way to produce a dedicated social-distancing gathering experience for graduating seniors. Heck, some drive-in theaters are also offering church services on Sundays – you stay in your car, you honk your horn for Amen, you put on your four-ways for the gospel, it’s all good.
As you can imagine, I’m totally stoked about a little weekend movie time.
Just one question, though …
What movie will play?
Ah, at this point, I don’t care if it’s the 500th showing of Trolls: World Tour.
Just give me something on the big screen, and I’ll be happy.
UPDATE: The double feature starts with Onward, and then The Call of the Wild. Nice choices.