Drive-in theaters in Western Washington are back in business, after being closed all spring due to coronavirus restrictions. The Skyline in Shelton, the Blue Fox in Oak Harbor, the Wheel-In in Port Townsend and the Rodeo in Bremerton will all be open this weekend. All are in counties — Mason, Island, Jefferson and Kitsap, respectively — that are currently in Phase 2 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s reopening guidelines.
Regulars, though, will notice that things look a little different. Two of the theaters — Wheel-In and Blue Fox — are now requiring reservations, and all of them are operating at approximately half-capacity, with cars parked at least 10 feet apart. Moviegoers are requested to wear masks when not in their cars, and to stay in their cars unless visiting the concession stands or restrooms; children’s play areas are closed. Lawn chairs are not allowed. Sanitation measures are heightened, and bathroom traffic (other than parents with children) is limited.
And, for now at least, what’s on screen might look familiar. Typically in June, movie theaters would be showing the latest summer blockbusters, but after the pandemic shuffled most of the season’s movies to later this year or 2021, drive-in owners need to be creative with their booking. The Rodeo has two current films among its offerings (the horror movie “The Invisible Man” and the family film “Trolls World Tour”) along with several older films; the Wheel-In is offering two Steven Spielberg summer classics, “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” and “Jaws.” Both the Blue Fox and the Rodeo are offering family-friendly double features: “Minions” and “Uncle Buck” at the Blue Fox, and “The Goonies” and “Space Jam” at the Rodeo.