Connect with us

News

Drive-in Movie Theaters Could Make Massive Comeback as Crisis Shuts Cinemas Worldwide

Old-school drive-ins are enjoying a renaissance as safe and fun venues where physical distancing guidelines can still be maintained.

Published

on

Drive-In Movie Theaters
Like this article? Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.

(TMU) — For many Americans, the drive-in movie theater is an icon of nostalgia—even for millennials and younger generations who may not have even visited these bygone cinematic venues.

Drive-ins were a cherished past-time in the 1960s, allowing people to watch films projected onto a big screen while safely chilling in their private cars. However, a number of different factors ranging from the availability of color television, VCRs, and video rental shops contributed to the decline of drive-in theaters.

Fast forward to 2020, and movie theaters across the country have been served crushing blows by the coronavirus pandemic and shuttering of non-essential businesses. The release of such highly-anticipated films including James Bond’s No Time to Die, Wonder Woman 1984, and Mulan have been pushed back while over 40,000 screens across the country have gone dark for an indefinite amount of time.

The crisis is forcing industry leaders AMC and Cinemark into dire financial straits, with the companies mulling bankruptcy or mulling the sale of an enormous amount of corporate debt. Some analysts believe that a quarter of the nation’s theaters could close down for good in the course of the sharp economic downturn dubbed the “Great Lockdown” by the IMF.

The situation faced by the industry is forcing many to look to a revival of the drive-in theater experience as a viable option that allows moviegoers to be entertained in large venues while upholding the physical distancing guidelines laid out by state authorities.

Earlier this month, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during a daily coronavirus briefing that drive-ins could soon open in the state, reports New York Post. The governor said:

“Where is the public safety issue? It’s a drive-in theater. You’re in the car with the same people.”

There are currently roughly 320 drive-in theaters across the United States with only 25 open for business, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

And while Americans are desperate for some diversion and recreational outings, they appear to be content, for now, with streaming options like Amazon Prime and Netflix. Ticket sales during the crisis have been “steady but not spectacular,” according to The Post.

While drive-ins may have that old-school charm, marquees are just as musty and old—many theaters rely on the classics to sell tickets while the flow of new Hollywood films dries to a trickle and summer blockbusters face an indefinite delay.

Overseas, however, crowds have been absolutely flocking to drive-in theaters. In South Korea and Germany, people are even lining up to watch films, with crowds flocking to see both older titles and relatively newer ones.

In Germany, which has only two year-round drive-in venues, open-air theater Autokino Essen has managed to sell out every screening since the country’s lockdown began early in March.

Frank Peciak, manager of Autokino Essen, said:

“It doesn’t matter what we show, people just want to get out and watch a movie … We’re sold out weeks in advance.”

In Cologne, another drive-in theater is also completely booked. The theater allows only a quarter of its 1,000-capacity lot to be used in order to uphold physical distancing rule.

Meanwhile, pop-up options have proliferated to keep up with the demand for entertainment outside the home. Loe Studios, an independent theater in the town of Marl, began screening films on a 640 square foot LED screen it put up behind a barker bar. It’s premiere offering was a double bill of “The Lion King” and “Parasite” which promptly sold out in a matter of hours.

https://twitter.com/RaminSubzero/status/1252817408332447749

Heiko Desch of theater chain Drive

In said:

“In the beginning, the authorities were worried there might be a health risk … but we haven’t had any issues.

“People are told to keep in their cars, except to visit the restrooms, and the entire operation is hands-free.”

Meanwhile in New York, theater managers like Warwick Drive-In owner Beth Wilson hopes that her upstate drive-in cinema can have its nonessential restrictions waived.

She said:

“Whatever the state wants us to do, we’re willing to do.

“We want people to enjoy going out, but in a safe environment. If you’re in your car with an average family — two parents in the front seat and two kids in the back — you’re sitting in a car with people you’re with in the house. It’s a little outing.”

However, if drive-in theaters reopen across the U.S. to satisfy demands created by the pandemic, we might witness their rapid decline once the crisis subsides.

Either way, most of us are hoping that we can catch a good film alongside a vibrant audience sometime in the near future.

By Elias Marat | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

Typos, corrections and/or news tips? Email us at [email protected]

Corruption

Chris Cuomo “indefinitely” gone from CNN after his deep role in brother’s sex scandal is revealed

Published

on

Like this article? Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.

CNN anchor Chris Cuomo was suspended indefinitely by CNN on Tuesday after it was revealed by the New York Attorney General’s Office that the star anchor, the most popular on the news network, was deeply involved in assisting his scandal-embroiled brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, amid a flurry of sexual harassment allegations that ultimately led to him resigning.

While Chris Cuomo had apologized in the past for advising his brother’s senior aides – effectively shattering the wall typically standing between policymakers and journalists – the thousands of pages released by Attorney General Letitia James show that the anchor played a deeply intimate role in damage control efforts stemming from the accusations.

The network and its top leadership, including president Jeff Zucker, had backed their star anchor to the hilt in recent months despite accumulating info showing Cuomo’s breach of basic journalistic standards. The anchor also had apologized for advising the governor while simultaneously downplaying or omitting the extent of his direct involvement in the scandal.

Late Tuesday, the network released a statement acknowledging that “the documents, which we were not privy to before their public release, raise serious questions.”

“When Chris admitted to us that he had offered advice to his brother’s staff, he broke our rules and we acknowledged that publicly,” the statement explained. “However, these documents point to a greater level of involvement in his brother’s efforts than we previously knew. As a result, we have suspended Chris indefinitely, pending further evaluation.”

Text messages show that Chris Cuomo clamored to play an increasingly direct role in the scandal, ranging from offers to draft statements for his brother to demands that he play a commanding role in strategic matters. Cuomo also looked into potential angles for news reports and researched the women who accused his brother of sexual misconduct.

“Please let me help with the prep,” Cuomo wrote at to his brother’s top aides as evidence damning the governor mounted.

The move to indefinitely suspend the argumentative and charismatic anchor came as a shock to some anchors, who were aware that he was dear to CNN management. CNN president Zucker also declined to discipline him as reports poured in about his misconduct, reports New York Times.

Chris Cuomo had long admitted that for him, the matter was about “family first, job second.”

“I can be objective about just about any topic, but not about my family,” he said on May 20. He also played down his fervent role in the scandal, claiming that he had been haplessly “looped into calls” with the governor’s inner circle, which he claims was a “mistake” that spilled over onto his work life and placed his CNN colleagues in a “bad spot.”

Typos, corrections and/or news tips? Email us at [email protected]

Continue Reading

Corruption

Jeffrey Epstein’s pilot testifies: Clinton, Trump, Prince Andrew among “Lolita Express” passengers

Published

on

Like this article? Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.

Jeffrey Epstein’s longtime pilot took the stand on Tuesday, the second day of Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial, and detailed the names of famous passengers who rode in the private jet of the disgraced financier who has been accused of a range of crimes, including sex trafficking minors.

Testifying at the trial of Maxwell, who was Epstein’s girlfriend and alleged co-conspirator, pilot Larry Visoski explained how he met a number of notable and powerful people. The names included Prince Andrew, Donald Trump (before he was president), former President Bill Clinton, Chris Tucker, Kevin Spacey, George Mitchell, violinist Itzhak Perlman, and astronaut John Glenn.

The pilot explained that he met the celebrities over the course of decades while flying Epstein’s Boeing 727 Gulfstream jet — often referred to in media as the “Lolita Express” — as well as helicopters.

“I certainly remember President Trump, but not many people associated with him,” the pilot said during cross-examination by Maxwell’s defense team, adding that the future head of state flew on the plane before he became president in 2016.

Clinton was mentioned as Visoski testified about a meeting with a female singer in the cockpit of the jet before flying off from an airport in Palm Beach, Florida. Visoski claims that he remembered the singer, identified as Jane Doe in the courtroom, by her “piercing blue eyes” and that she didn’t appear to be young at the time.

“You’ll forgive the question, Mr. Visoski, but I think you’ll remember that at the time you saw her, you also remembered she had large breasts. Isn’t that right?” asked Assistant U.S. Attorney Maureen Comey.

“Uh. She was a mature woman,” Visoski answered in response.

According to prosecutors, Jane was 14 years old when she was essentially “recruited” by Maxwell in 1994, not long before Visoski met her in the cockpit.

“I can’t visualize her sitting in the passenger compartment like I would, say, President Clinton. It was so long ago,” the pilot said.

“Jane Doe” also testified on Tuesday and explained how she was eating ice cream at a youth summer camp when Maxwell and Epstein approached her in a friendly manner.

Before long, however, Maxwell allegedly began training her on how to “massage” Epstein.

Eventually, she explained, she took part in orgies involving both Maxwell and Esptein at the late financier’s massive homes in Palm Beach, New York City, and New Mexico.

Prosecutors have depicted Maxwell as the mastermind of a sadistic sex trafficking gang that preyed on young women and underage girls. The U.S. government has alleged that over the span of at least 10 years, from 1994 to 2004, she “assisted, facilitated, and contributed to Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse of minor girls by, among other things, helping Epstein to recruit, groom, and ultimately abuse” the girls and young women.

The British media heiress has pleaded not guilty to the six felony counts.

Epstein, 66, died of apparent suicide during his incarceration at a federal prison in Manhattan while facing a likely prison sentence of up to 45 years on charges of pedophilia and sex trafficking.

According to Visoski, from 1991 until 2019, he regularly flew Epstein to his private island in the Caribbean, Little St. James – an island popularly referred to as “Pedophile Island.”

“Every week to every 10 days if we weren’t elsewhere in the world, but, you know, it was a regular destination,” Visoski said.

Visoski also noted that he remembered Maxwell, a one-time girlfriend of Epstein, as an employee of the late sex criminal – albeit one whose specific role was unclear.

Typos, corrections and/or news tips? Email us at [email protected]

Continue Reading

Corruption

Ghislaine Maxwell trial begins as Epstein’s shadow looms large

Published

on

Like this article? Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.

On Monday, opening arguments began in the widely anticipated federal trial of accused sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell, the notorious British socialite who allegedly helped disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein commit a dizzying array of abusive and exploitative acts toward multiple women and girls, including one as young as 14.

Epstein, 66, died of apparent suicide during his incarceration at a federal prison in New York City while facing a potential prison sentence of up to 45 years on charges of pedophilia and sex trafficking.

The Maxwell trial could be a last-ditch opportunity for the government to secure a conviction for the crimes of Epstein, in effect making this the trial that he prevented from ever occurring.

“The shadow of Epstein is going to loom large here,” former federal judge Moira Penza told the New York Times. “The case is obviously going to be about Maxwell, but he’s going to be right at the center of it as well.”

Early Monday, jury selection drew to a close.

The trial won’t be broadcast on television or online, while attendees will be prevented from broadcasting or photographing the trial, reports NPR.

Maxwell, 59, faces charges of grooming multiple minors to engage in illegal sex acts with Epstein, her ex-boyfriend, and sex-trafficking a minor. The indictment accuses the British media heiress of conspiracy, including recruiting one of her partner’s victims to help recruit other girls to be paid to undergo abuse at the hands of Epstein.

On Monday, prosecutors depicted Maxwell, who circulated in wealthy and powerful circles in the U.K. and U.S., as the mastermind of a sadistic sex trafficking gang that preyed on teenage girls. U.S. Attorneys have alleged that over the span of at least 10 years, from 1994 to 2004, she “assisted, facilitated, and contributed to Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse of minor girls by, among other things, helping Epstein to recruit, groom, and ultimately abuse” the girls and young women.

Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to the charges, while her multiple attempts to be released from the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York, have all been shot down.

Prosecutor Laura Pomerantz said Monday that Maxwell was a key component in Epstein’s “pyramid scheme of abuse” and criminal sex acts carried out under the color of respectability, reports BBC.

Pomerantz noted that one accuser befriended by the pair was promised bright opportunities in the future.

Prosecutors will call on witnesses including four alleged victims and experts on sexual abuse and those who can inform the jury about the credibility of the couple’s victims, including those who may not have been aware that they suffered abuse at the time.

Experts say that the prosecution will have their work cut out for them and must refrain from making the trial center too much on Epstein’s crimes rather than those of his alleged co-conspirator Maxwell.

Maxwell’s defense will also have to convince the 12-person jury that she was an unwitting player in Epstein’s game, likely by delving into the details of the deceased criminal’s dealings at the top levels of philanthropy, academia, politics, and high finance.

On Monday, the defense protested Maxwell being held liable for Epstein’s crimes and depicted her situation as being one where “memory, manipulation and money” play crucial roles.

However, federal attorneys have pushed back at the idea that she was a victim of Epstein, as opposed to a willing accomplice.

“The government’s yearslong investigation has not developed any evidence that the defendant was victimized in any way by Jeffrey Epstein,” read court papers that were recently filed by the government.

Prosecutors are expected to draw on Maxwell’s so-called “black book,” which meticulously recorded the friends and contacts of Epstein. The FBI gained possession of the book in 2019 when Epstein’s former butler tried to sell it. The government is confident that the book contains “compelling evidence of her guilt,” according to court filings.

Typos, corrections and/or news tips? Email us at [email protected]

Continue Reading

Trending

The Mind Unleashed