Mass. drive-in theater owner hopeful to reopen soon

BOSTON — When golf courses were allowed to reopen in Massachusetts amid the coronavirus pandemic, Dave Andelman thought drive-in movie theaters would be next.

Andelman owns Mendon Twin Drive-In and he says they usually open in March, but like many others they have lost the last two months of business and counting.

“Our goal is to open safely and legally, since there’s no guidelines my staff took it upon ourselves to really set the standard of what safety will be when businesses reopen,” said Andelman.

Andelman says they’re still waiting for the green light from state leaders, but in the meantime they’ve made some changes at the drive-in movie theater.

Every other parking spot has been blocked off to create more distance between cars. Andelman says they have also sanitized all areas and have added new barriers and painted lines on the ground to keep customers separated while buying concessions.

“Mendon Twin Drive-In is 16 acres, you literally don’t have to get out of your car, so I think it’s time for us to open,” said Andelman.

With these changes, Andelman says they won’t do the same amount of business as usual, but it’ll be better than nothing.

Last week he started offering take-out food and he says a business like this could be a safe way to lift people’s spirits.

“Customers were walking up within six feet of me and saying, ‘Dave, thank you so much, we got out of the house, we got some fried dough, some popcorn, gave the kids something to do,” said Andelman.

Now the drive-in is also getting dozens of requests to host other events like weddings and graduations.

“We’re being approached by promoters, comedians and musical acts need new safe, fun, creative venues,” said Andelman. “We’ve been approached by worldwide stars, so I think it could be a really entertaining and exciting year at Mendon Twin drive-in.”

Thousands of people have already signed a petition to get the drive-in back open, so Andelman says he’s hopeful it’ll happen soon.

“I can’t wait to hear the cars honking,” said Andelman. “It’s a tradition at Mendon Twin Drive-In when we sell out, everyone honks their horn for ten seconds, so that’s going to be music to my ears.”

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