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Drive-in theaters reopen during easing of restrictions

NOW: Drive-in theaters reopen during easing of restrictions

MARSHALL COUNTY, Ind. — For both Melody and Tri-Way drive-ins in northern Indiana, the revenue is severely needed.

Since drive-ins operate seasonally, they tend to be at a financial disadvantage, but they won’t be taking any chances with health safety this year.
“We’ve has that itch now since pretty much the middle of February so we’re pretty excited to get the doors going,” Starke County’s Melody Drive-in owner Fred Heis Jr. said.

“We’re probably looking at some time in the middle of May - maybe towards Memorial weekend, we’ll be actually starting to be able to show movies again.”

Until then, Heis said Melody Drive-in will open its concession booth for carryout.

Near Plymouth, Tri-Way Drive-in opened for the 2020 season this past weekend.

“I would say probably 95 percent of the people were really good,” owner David Kinney said.
“There was one every once in a while that they didn’t have their face mask on. We had to go around and say ‘Hey, you need to go back to your vehicle.’ You know, that’s practicing social distancing.”

But Kinney, who has a medical doctorate himself, understands the safety restrictions he’ll have to enforce.

”We’re trying to make sure everybody’s safe, and what safer thing to do (than) watching a movie inside your own vehicle?” Kinney said.

Both drive-in owners say that even with a limited amount of movies out right now, they’ll still have full lineups , with perhaps even some throwback movie nights this summer.

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