Hidden within the trees on the outskirts of Bloomington, the drive-in theater celebrated the first day of its 65th season on May 22 with a double feature of “Trolls: World Tour” and “Dolittle.”
Manager Amanda Phillips had high expectations for a busy opening night accompanied by a profitable season. This is the theater’s first year to be open seven nights a week for the entire summer.
“People have been at home for two months,” she said. “We’ll be busy.”
Nurse and Bloomington resident Cindy Rogers works at the Starlite Drive-In Theater on weekends to earn extra money while helping moviegoers have the safest, cleanest experience during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think this is much safer than going to an inside theater,” she said. “It’s good for people’s mental health.”
Rogers was on “potty patrol” next to the women’s bathroom while five-year Starlite employee Christopher Hawkins worked at the men’s.
“It’s difficult,” he said of working during the pandemic. “But I don’t really fear anything.”
Employees are taking precautions to provide a clean environment that includes limiting the bathroom to two people at a time, cleaning the bathrooms every 15 minutes and advising people to park at least six feet away from one another.
Movie lovers gathered from all around southern Indiana to spend time at the drive-in.
The theater announced that it would operate at half capacity, allowing 200 cars in instead of the usual400.
Bloomington resident Chris Feeny and his daughter Leah have only been able to have fun outdoors since the coronavirus outbreak.
“This is our first movie outing in a long time,” Chris said. “We love to go to the movies.”
Bloomington resident Brittany Adams brought her five-year-old son Eric Hayden to see “Trolls: World Tour” celebrate one of the first warm nights in the summer season.
Children ran around the concessions counter, throwing salty popcorn in the air while Coca-Cola stuck to the tables and their parents waited in line, many wearing face masks.