NORTH RIDGEVILLE, Ohio — Movie fans have been flocking to the drive-in theater during the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to enjoy an American staple while also staying socially distant. With an extended season, the Aut-O-Rama Drive-In Theater is giving moviegoers a chance to catch their favorite holiday classics on the big screen.
“We like to say we’ve been social distancing since 1965,” said Del Sherman, of the Aut-O-Rama in North Ridgeville. “It’s kind of in our business model.”
In a year bookmarked by a global pandemic, the drive-in theater has been a constant.
“Once we opened up though, people were eager to get out and do something that was socially acceptable being socially distanced and just have something fun and bring back some normalcy to their life,” Sherman said.
The drive-in theater has been so popular that the Aut-O-Rama is extending its season through November and possibly beyond.
“It’s a joy to see people enjoying just the outdoors again and be able to see some of the classics, with their family. As long as we have people wanting to come out, we want to provide a service that people can enjoy and be comfortable with," Sherman said.
As the twin-screen theater gears up for a second surge of its own, new screens will greet guests.
“We decided to lay the screens down. they actually come down very very gently. We want to make sure that people can come and have a good time and enjoy spending the night out with the stars, whether it be on the screen or up in the sky.”
Aut-O-Rama continues to take all socially distant precautions, with one car per space, even allowing guests to bring their own snacks.
Their plan is to stay open through November, even extending the season into December.