Starting Friday, both of Greater Cincinnati's drive-in movie theaters will be open with new regulations amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Amy Acton’s Stay Safe Ohio Order excludes drive-in movie theaters from the list of entertainment businesses that must remain closed. The drive-ins can operate as long as social distancing guidelines are in place.
The area's two drive-ins — Starlite Drive-In in Amelia and Holiday Auto Theatre in Hamilton — will be open as of Friday, May 8.
Starlite Drive-In announced on May 1 they’d reopen with a COVID-19 response plan.
Manager Anthony Smith said the drive-in is requiring patrons to stay at least 6 feet from separate parties, and they are encouraging people to wear masks at all times.
Smith, who is also a Bethel-Tate firefighter, said he appreciates the outpouring of community support.
“(We want) to let them all know we are all taking this very seriously …. I know everybody in their houses is going stir crazy, and this gives them the opportunity to do something outside of their houses,” Smith said.
Starlite Drive-In has also closed the lobby of its concession building, although food orders can still be taken online or from the window.
Restrooms are limited to two people at a time, Smith said. An employee will regulate the amount of people in the restrooms and will clean them every 20 minutes.
Moviegoers are allowed to sit outside of their vehicles, but Smith said they would prefer people stay inside.
The theater is in the process of making tickets available online. Smith said this should be up and running on Friday. Cash and credit cards are still accepted at the entrance.
Holiday Auto Theatre will reopen on Friday, May 8, according to a post on the theater's Facebook page.
The theater will reduce capacity in order to achieve proper social distancing; only one car will be allowed to be parked between two poles.
Patrons are encouraged to wear a mask if/when they exit their vehicles. Moviegoers can sit outside of their vehicles and long as they are sitting next to their vehicles.
Two people will be allowed in the main building restrooms at a time, and social distancing queues are in place for concession and restrooms, including portable restrooms.
The theater installed plexiglass and other barriers near concessions, and the area has been made into one-way only. Patrons must enter on the west side of the building and exit on the east side.