By Heather Wood
Drive-in movies—once a thing of the past—are coming back this summer to bring some entertainment relief amid the coronavirus. Drive-in movies have long been with us, though their peak popularity dropped decades ago.
Kernersville Parks and Recreation has been offering the free outdoor summer Movies in the Park Series for the past several years in Harmon Park. With many events being cancelled or postponed due to COVID, our staff quickly developed a plan to shift the summer movies to a drive-in experience. As our department made plans and waited for our state officials to give the go-ahead for drive-ins to open, we began mapping out locations, developing guidelines that mirrored the CDC, and working with On Target DJ to bring it all together.
We first announced our full summer movie schedule in June and have successfully hosted two movies so far this summer. We transformed the large parking lot at Ivey M. Redmon Sports Complex into a theatre with two screens over 20ft tall. You may remember as a kid, attending drive-in movies and rolling down your window to attach a microphone device to the side of your car. Fast forward and now you pull in and tune your radio station or portable radio device to the station that is provided.
In the days of social distancing, drive-in movies make sense. To adhere to the social distancing guidelines, practices are being followed at the drive-in movie nights. Employees will be temperature checked prior to guests arriving, movie goers must stay in their car for the duration of the movie, cars are safely spaced, restrooms are for emergencies only and there are no concessions or vendors to limit the spread. The safety of our staff and the participants is our main priority.
We have two showings left this summer on August 28 (Aladdin) and September 18 (Toy Story 4). So, grab your family, hop in the car, and be ready for a fun back to the future experience. Pre-registration for all movies is REQUIRED and there are limited parking spots available. Be sure to follow our social media pages or www.kvparks.com to stay-up-date on when we open registration for each movie.
Since drive-in movies are a thing, why not offer a drive-in concert as well. It is a creative solution as numerous expert health officials have predicted that the traditional concert experience may not return this year. Drive-in concerts provide a sense of relief and peace of mind for those in the music industry to do what they love. They are there for the love of music and for reuniting fans with the artists they hold so dear.
Due to COVID and the cancellation of our Honeybee Festival, our department once again pivoted in taking an existing event and reworking it. If you have ever attended the Kernersville Honeybee Festival, one of the main attractions is listening to our live music performances. With a current band already booked, they agreed to work with us in offering our community a drive-in concert. Presented by Cone Health, with Jukebox Rehab (JBR), this event will take place in the large parking lot at Ivey M. Redmon Sports Complex.
JBR is a country music band based out of Winston Salem NC. The band offers a perfectly simplistic live show that showcases their Nashville ready originals and exemplifies their southern grown harmonies. Recently signed, catch this band right here in Kernersville! Join us for 1 ½ hours of live music on Friday, August 7. Gates open at 6:30PM, tickets MUST be purchased prior to event and are $10 per car. Please read all safety guidelines prior to purchasing tickets at www.kvparks.com.
In the future, we will remember this year for a number of reasons but here is one charming one: 2020 brought us the summer of the drive-In.