NORTH RIDGEVILLE, Ohio (WOIO) - Drive-in theaters in Ohio are set to reopen May 12, including the Aut-O-Rama Twin Drive-In Theatre in North Ridgeville.
The family-owned business has been in operation since 1965.
“Right now a lot of people are thinking of the drive-ins, a lot of people it was a forgotten experience," said owner Tim Sherman.
When the coronavirus shuttered businesses, the family worried if they would reopen for the season.
But to many people’s delight, the Shermans announced via Facebook drive-ins could open, after working with Ohio Gov. Mike Dewine’s office.
“I was very relieved but it’s still stressful too because there’s just a different way. Instead of being a sad we might go out of business thing like that, now there’s the potential to to help us out and provide and give people a escape," Sherman said.
Here are some of the new social distancing guidelines.
• All recommended and required policies, directives, and orders from the Local and state health departments will be followed, as well as any CDC guidelines where applicable.
• 6 feet social distancing must be maintained at any time you are not in, on or within reach of your vehicle.
• If you or any person in your household is not feeling well, please remain home for the safety of everyone.
• Only persons from the same household may be in a vehicle together.
• Buses and any kind of large groups will not be permitted
• Gathering with other vehicles will not be permitted at this time
• Online pre-sale tickets only, at this time. HERE’S THE LINK TO THE WEBSITE.
• We will be operating at a reduced capacity to comply with and encourage social distancing requirements
• 1 car parked in the center between 2 poles only
• If leaving your vehicle, a face covering is highly encouraged
• In order to provide the option of a contactless experience we will be temporarily allowing outside food and beverage to be brought in. Please remember the concessions help up remain in business. By allowing outside food and beverage we will be able to social distance and keep everyone safe.
• Concessions will be open in a walk-up window style. Our patrons will not be permitted into the concession at this time.
• Refills of any kind are not permitted. Sorry no popcorn buckets, or Souvenir Cups.
• Online food ordering from your phone will also be available and payments can be made via your online order. There will be an order pick-up location provided. We will not be offering delivery to your car at this time.
• Contactless payments are now available at the concession. Apple Pay, Google Pay, and others
• To help protect our employees and the environment please don’t throw your trash on the ground. Remember, someone has to pick up all trash left behind. Preferably If possible, take it home with you and dispose of it there, or use the trash receptacles provided.
• 6 foot of social distancing must be followed at the restrooms as well. Please don’t wait till intermission to use the restrooms. Using the restrooms throughout the movie will help keep lines from forming.
• Porta potties will also be on site to help with restroom lines and social distancing
Employees will be required to wear masks and they are recommending movie-goers do the same when they’re outside of their cars.
“Please, if you’re not ready and you don’t feel safe with yourself or you’re in that category where you might be prone to getting this, then please stay home," said Tim Sherman.
The Shermans tell 19 News they are getting ready to bring Hollywood back to Ohio here in 2020.
“Movies are an escape for people and this is one of the few avenues that they would have during this pandemic to get out of the house in a safe manner and essentially keep their minds in check," said Sherman.
No word yet on what movies will show but Aut-O-Rama will be open seven days a week, pending any pre-scheduled events.
“Hopefully bring back some normally to life. Let people get out and escape the confines of their house and yeah, feel some normalcy and escape from reality with the movies," Sara Sherman said.