Restaurants as drive-in theaters? Musicians, take note

Cream of Crop stage Thomasville GA

I recently told a policeman who was parked next to us as we picked up curbside takeout I’d never seen anything like this Coronavirus shutdown. Afterwards, as my husband and I talked about that, I told him new models would emerge. Because Americans are most definitely creative. Now restaurants are adapting with a new feature—the parking lot as a drive-in theater. Musicians should take note.

Food and Wine said people come to the parking lot in cars and listen to the audio via FM radio. The visual part is beamed onto the side of the building. It’s a great idea, evoking memories of drive-ins when I was a girl. My mother never let me go to the drive-in though. Nice girls just didn’t, and the only time I tried to get around her mandate, the guy at the ticket stand knew who I was. In that small town, my mom knew before morning, and it would be years before I did another drive-in date.

The shutdown of restaurants has also shut down a sizable portion of the indie music industry. It occurred to me that restaurants with large enough parking lots might consider letting local bands do some entertaining if zoning permitted outside music. People could listen in their cars as they chow down on curbside takeout.

Personally, I am really tired of my home cooking. I think a drive-in or parking lot music would be a great way to spend an evening while we chowed down in our car on food someone else prepares.

(Kay B. Day/April 24, 2020)

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