Mary Pickford opens new drive-in theater


Covid-19 has shut down many entertainment centers. The pandemic has left many businesses struggling for survival.

Businesses such as the Mary Pickford Theater in Cathedral City have been striving to stay alive. The theater’s general manager, Ted Hane said, “After the second shut down for us, we knew that a drive-in was key to survival.”

The drive-in option gives people a chance to leave their houses for a few hours, watch a movie and relax. This allows people an opportunity to be entertained who are too sick or nervous of the virus. “They will be able to come out of their homes and enjoy a movie, all while social distancing,” said Hane.

The Mary Pickford Theater Drive-In will be opening on Sept. 25. The theater plans to be open for five days to see how things run and play one film every night.

“The site will be across Highway 111 near the Mary Pickford Theater, It’ll be hard to miss. We will be opening early so that people can start showing up as spacing is mandatory, but your pick of where you are is first come, first serve,” said Hane.

This drive-in theater will be selling tickets and concession items just as any theater would. People can buy tickets through the Mary Pickford website, Atom or Fandango. To find more information about showtimes and ticket prices, the best place to go on is their website.

It’s hard for many to watch a movie without snacks; luckily, concession items such as popcorn, sodas and candy will be on sale for the guest.

“We are working on a solution to order online but don’t have it set up just yet,” said Hane, “We will be working on a system that would allow us to bring snacks to the car via delivery. This way, it will be safe and effective for the public.”

For those who have safety concerns or any issues whatsoever, Mary Pickford has taken safety precautions to ensure everybody’s safety. “We will require people to stay in their cars and that folks are wearing masks if and when they go to concessions or the restrooms,” Hane said.

Some theater personnel say the drive-in theater will be a very safe way to go out and watch movies. You will be in your own space away from others, and as Hane said, “It gives people who are either afraid to go out or immune-compromised, a chance actually to go out while social distancing.”

The Mary Pickford Theater is a popular place people go-to for dates, special events, or watch new movies. When this luxury was taken away due to COVID-19, many guests were upset. The drive-in theater will be up and running and many guests are excited for this to happen.

“I think the drive-in is a really good idea because people are getting bored being stuck at home and I feel like this will be a good solution while still allowing everyone to be safe,” said Michelle Velasquez, a theater guest.

Abigail Cardenas, who has already been to a few drive-ins herself, is thrilled the Mary Pickford is doing this. “I think it makes sense; it’s been pretty successful over at the Westfield in Palm Desert. It’s a good option for people who maybe don’t want to drive that far for a movie.” With the new drive-in, Mary Pickford will be the ideal local choice.

Everyone is wondering how things will turn out. A few guests have high hopes for the theater, such as Simon Gerardo, “Mary Pickford is a place where you go and expect the experience to be perfect; it’s a very nice theater. I have high expectations for what’s to come.” The bar is set for this local theater.

Even though some people may have high expectations for this opening, some are just excited that they are doing this. “I’m excited about it; it’ll be nice to see the theater get some revenue again since it’s been closed for so long,” said Cardenas. With safety precautions and delighted guests, the new opening should be a success.

The Mary Pickford theater will have their first drive-in theater on Sept. 25, right across highway 111 near the theater. Many movie lovers are excited, such as Samuel Estrada, “I think it’s a great idea. It can help people still maintain social distancing by staying inside their cars. They get to partake in a theatrical experience again finally.”