(TMU) — The coronavirus pandemic has put most of our social lives on hold or reduced it to a pale shadow of what it was. And for many of us, there is a definite limit to how much fun we can inject into our quarantine lifestyles through games and binge-watching Netflix.
But what if it was possible to enjoy a good date with a loved one while still respecting the physical distancing guidelines put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19?
With precisely that solution in mind—and amid a brutal economic downturn primarily slamming small businesses—restaurants across the United States have devised a novel solution that draws on American nostalgia, brings in paying clientele, while also offering a safe option for entertaining crowds.
Since social distancing rules began in March, restaurants across America have begun turning their parking lots into drive-in cinemas, offering an opportunity to stir-crazy couples and families craving a social outing such as dinner and a movie.
Peoples Restaurant and Lounge in Corpus Christi, Texas, is a popular eatery that has seen revenue dry up since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
However, when it announced on April 18 that it would begin screening films in its parking lot—beginning with Toy Story 4—customers old and new quickly flocked back to snatch up tickets.
We sold out on movies for the week of April 26. Again thank you and we hope to put out the next movies soon! So stay…
Co-owner Joe Gonzalez told Corpus Christi Caller Times:
“We are in awe on how quickly we sold out of tickets this week. The community’s response to our drive-in has really made a huge impact for us.”
The idea was a result of family brainstorming as well as a trend that has swept the U.S. and other countries in recent months.
“We were having a hard time trying to stay afloat through carry-out and delivery. It was costing us more money to stay open that way.
“But when one of my daughters came up with the drive-in idea, our whole family was on board and went straight to work to make it a reality.”
Up north in Mingus, Texas, another restaurant also decided last month that it would be a good idea to revive drive-in theaters.
In a Facebook post, Clint Gibson, the owner of BJ’s Restaurant and Bar, announced that his restaurant would begin start films, beginning with baseball classic The Sandlot, while also offering old-school car-side service.
“When the world is shutting down we have to go back to our roots for entertainment.”
When the world is shutting down we have to go back to our roots for entertainment. Here is a sneak peek of our mobile…
Over the past weekend, BJ’s also screened Tombstone and Dirty Dancing, charging $10 per vehicle while urging patrons to show up early to reserve a highly sought-after spot.
The votes are in- Classics Weekend! Friday- Dirty DancingSaturday- TombstoneMobile Drive-In Movie Theater@…
Meanwhile in Arizona, Food & Wine reports that the Ajo Al’s group of Mexican restaurants set up inflatable screens in the parking lots of its various in order to screen the beloved Pixar film Coco to guests while they park their cars six feet apart and enjoy some takeout chips and queso, brisket tacos, and bean dip.
And in Omaha, Nebraska, Tex-Mex cantina The Corner Kick brought about 35 vehicles to their parking lot when they screened the classic comedy The Three Amigos on three different screen across the side of the building.
However, the idea of pop-up drive-in theaters has had its challenges, with some, like V Pizza in North Carolina, them being shut down for violating stay-at-home orders, while others have faced legal problems from movie studios due to licensing issues.
Lots of people are asking when we release and announce movie tickets for sale. It’s really difficult to let y’all know a certain date because we are dependent on licensing company. In order, to find out you have to follow our page and change your notifications settings. We made a video so you can see just how to do that! Hopefully this helps!!
Posted by Peoples Restaurant and Lounge on Sunday, April 26, 2020
As Food & Wine notes, drive-in theaters first began operating in 1933, long before the polio vaccine was developed. Prior to the widespread introduction of the vaccine, drive-ins were frequently advertised to parents “who fear to expose their children or themselves to local epidemics,” and as a place where one could “be flu and polio protected.”
Drive-ins had their hey-day roughly up until the 1960s, but a number of different factors—including the availability of color television, VCRs, and video rental shops—contributed to their decline.
But for Joe Gonzalez in Corpus Christi, the revival of drive-in theaters is a matter of not just entertainment or business, but hope.
“We really appreciate the backing we are getting from the public right now.
“This drive-in gives us the opportunity to give back to our community and help us stay open. It really makes us feel like things can really go back to normal again.”
Keanu Reeves Praised As Video of Him Offering Seat to Lady in Subway Resurfaces
Keanu Reeves is an actor who has long been loved by audiences —and not necessarily due to his acting skills, but due to how nice the John Wick star is.
And now, Reeves is once again earning praise as a “true gentleman” after resurfaced video footage shows Reeves giving up his seat on the subway.
The clip was shared by Instagram film fan account Cinemonkeys where it has since earned nearly 45,000 likes.
The video footage dates back to 2011, when it was shared on YouTube by a user of the video-sharing platform.
At the time, Reeves was already a superstar riding on the fame he earned from the Matrix, Speed, and a number of other blockbuster hits.
When Reeves notices a woman carrying a heavy bag, he quickly points to his seat and asks if she would like to sit. The woman accepts and Reeves gets up without hesitating to let her take his seat.
Reeves, ever the model citizen, then stands and holds onto a subway pole while carrying his bag.
The video has since been watched over 27 million times and was even cited in a 2019 Time magazine profile of the actor describing Reeves as the “soul mate” of the internet.
The resurfacing of the clip on Instagram once again impressed users of the platform.
“This human being’s soul honestly shines so bright,” wrote one user.
“OMG I love him in every single way,” another person commented.
“His kindness knows no bounds,” commented someone else.
Keanu is set to reprise his role as Neo in the upcoming fourth Matrix film directed and written by Lana Wachowski, who co-directed the earlier trilogy with her sister Lilly. He will also return to the silver screen in John Wick: Chapter 4, which will be released in 2022.
Drunk Man Rescues Injured Baby Bird By Sending It To Animal Shelter… In An Uber
An injured baby bird received a new lease on life after a young man who was inebriated had the good sense to send the little creature to an animal shelter because he and his friends were too drunk to drive.
In the Summer of 2019, a small lesser goldfinch suddenly appeared by itself at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah. The center’s chairman, Buz Marthaler, was notified by a volunteer who sent him a photo.
“It was a picture of this bird, and it had come by Uber,” Marthaler told FOX13. “It was just crazy.”
As it turns out, the tiny bird – which was only two weeks old – indeed rolled up to the site by its lonesome, the sole passenger in an Uber vehicle called by concerned citizens who found the injured creature.
Among those good Samaritans was Tim Crowley, who had been “day drinking” on that Saturday before he and his buddies witnessed the little bird fall from the sky.
“Impromptu, sitting in some camp chairs, hanging out, having a few drinks when we had a visitor fall out of the sky,” he explained.
Crowley then snapped a photo of the bird and sent it to the WRCNU, which instructed him to immediately bring the bird in. However, the group obviously couldn’t drive since they had been guzzling booze all day.
So Crowley decided he’d hail a cab for the creature.
“At first it was a joke, like, ‘Hey, maybe we should just call Uber!’” he said. “Then we were like, ‘No, really. Why not? We’re paying them.’”
As it turns out, the bird – since named “Petey Uber” by staff at the rescue center – likely would have perished if not for Crowley’s quick thinking.
Marthaler remains impressed by Crowley’s move and shared the news on its Facebook page.
“While we feel we’ve seen it all and can’t be amazed by anything, there is always someone out there to prove us wrong,” the shelter’s post read. “Thank you to the rescuer who helped this little one get the care it needed in a timely manner and thank you for keeping yourself safe and others on the road safe as well.”
Binx the Cat, Who Survived Florida Condo Collapse, Found and Reunited With Family
Amid the tragedy of last month’s collapse of a South Florida condo building, there was a tiny bit of good news when a cat named Binx, who lived on the ninth floor of the Surfside building, was found safe and returned to his family.
“I’m glad that this small miracle could bring some light into the lives of a hurting family today and provide a bright spot for our whole community in the midst of this terrible tragedy,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava in a Friday press conference, reports NPR.
Levine Cava explained that a volunteer who feeds street cats in the area recognized the cat near the building before bringing him to an animal shelter, where it was then identified.
Gina Nicole Vlasek, the co-founder of the The Kitty Campus rescue group, posted on Facebook that a black cat had been found near the rubble of the group before it was brought to the shelter on Thursday night.
“We are so grateful to be able to help in any small way,” Vlasek said.
“All we needed was a ray of hope in this tragedy,” she continued. “Today was one of the most amazing days.. one of the survivors came to see the cat and to determine if it was her families cat and IT WAS!”
The mayor said that animal control workers are continuing to work to recover any pets that may have survived the horrible collapse.
The 12-story Surfside condo collapsed on June 24. At least 79 people have been confirmed dead, with 61 additional residents remaining unaccounted for.