POINT TOWNSHIP — The Point Drive In along Route 11 will open for the first time this season on May 15 to start showing classic movies and recent releases until new movies become available.
David Renn, the owner of the drive-in theater at 3601 Point Township Drive, said film distributors have postponed all upcoming movie releases until later in the summer. The COVID-19 crisis caused the shutdown of non-essential businesses since March 19. Today is the first day that Northumberland, Snyder, Union and Montour counties were allowed to enter the first phase of re-opening.
"It's a strange time," said Renn. "Things are turned upside down. This is the 32nd year I've been at the drive-in and I've never had to deal with this before."
Renn is still figuring out what movies will be on the first lineup, but customers can expect "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial," "The Wizard of Oz," "The Goonies," "Jurassic Park," "Jaws" and "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" this summer.
"It's going to be a challenge for everybody, but we're putting in some protocols to help," said Renn.
Admission will be discounted at $7 for adults and children. Children 3 and under are admitted for free. Anyone who already purchased season passes will be provided with free popcorn for the entire 2020 season, he said.
The menu will be handed out to each car. Customers can fill out a form and drop it off at the kitchen. They will be called when their order is ready if they don't feel comfortable waiting in the building with other people. Employees will be spacing cars out, he said.
The theater will not be open seven days a week due to the novel coronavirus and to protect the health of the workers and their families. The first day is May 15 and they will be open Friday and Saturday until Memorial Day. Sundays and Mondays will be added after that, said Renn.
He said he isn't sure whether people will be too cautious to come out or overeager for entertainment, so he's not sure what to expect on opening weekend. There are three screens: two digital and one 35 mm film.
The theater would normally be open by the second week in April and be open for up to 22 weeks over the summer, he said.
Koebi Corcoran, of Northumberland, has been an employee at the drive-in for the last seven years. She came out on Thursday to help the Renn family prepare for opening day.
"I am excited," she said. "I was worried it wouldn't open."
The Pike Drive In Theatre along Route 15 in Montgomery will also be open soon with new COVID-19 rules and practices that mirror recommendations and guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Protection and the state Department of Health, according to a post on the company's Facebook page.
The purpose is to keep the "wonderful customers and awesome employees safe while we go back to operating the drive-in," according to the post.
A manager or owner was unable to be reached for more information.