With the nation’s movie theaters all closed for the foreseeable future, a lot of Americans have given thought to taking in a drive-in movie at some point this summer, even if they haven’t been to one in years. Some drive-ins have hosted screenings of movies that are otherwise available only on demand, which is how the horror movie The Wretched was the top movie at the box office last weekend, with the unusually low sum of $69,600.
Someone else is thinking about how to utilize drive-in movie theaters in the coming months: President Donald Trump.
The Daily Beast reported earlier this week that the president has floated the idea of hosting drive-in rallies. The report, citing three people familiar with the preliminary discussions, says Trump is itching to get back out and host rallies, and is considering doing so in such a way that will allow attendees to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Large fields are under consideration, as are drive-in theaters.
“Under such a scenario, Trump-loving attendees would roll up in their cars and be required to mostly remain in their respective vehicles as the president addressed them in-person from the outdoor stage,” the report says.
It’s unclear how feasible the idea is, and one drawback to the plan is that most drive-in areas would not accommodate nearly the amount of people who typically attend Trump rallies.
The largest-capacity drive-in in the United States is the Ford Wyoming Drive-in in Dearborn, Mich., with room for 3,000 cars, and while there have recently been vociferous, heavily armed anti-lockdown protests in that state, it’s hard to imagine the president who proposed a Muslim ban wanting to come to Dearborn.
The story looks at some logistical hurdles, such as how bathrooms and food concessions would work, as well as how the Secret Service could possibly check that many cars.
The idea raises other questions as well. Would the rallies be proceeded with a line of cars that goes miles, a la Woodstock, Phish shows, or the last scene of Field of Dreams? Would this lead to a pre-rally tailgate scene that makes a mockery of social distancing?
Would rally participants honk their horns instead of cheering? And would the organizers force the press to park their cars in a pen in the back, and would attendees crash their cars into the CNN cars?