GIBSON CITY — Harvest Moon Twin Drive-in Theater in Gibson City plans to reopen this weekend at half capacity with several restrictions in place, including a requirement that people stay in their vehicles.
Sitting outside "is not going to be an option" and no one will be allowed in the back of a pickup truck, general manager Ben Harroun said in a Facebook Live video Monday evening.
Patrons will be allowed to leave their cars only to use the bathroom or get food at the concession stand, Harroun said.
They will be required to wear masks or face coverings when at the bathroom or food stand and will have to stay 6 feet apart, he said.
Harroun said he is hopeful that, once state restrictions are eased, they will be "getting more toward the drive-in experience you all know and love."
The theater has scheduled "Trolls World Tour" and "Onward" on separate screens for its opening weekend. There will be no double features to start.
Because people have to stay in their cars, grilling will not be allowed, but Harroun said, "Hopefully, by June or July we can bring that back."
Only about half the drive-in's 500 parking spaces will be available, said Harroun, and there will be "staggered parking in the rows." Rather than general admission, people will pick a car spot when purchasing their tickets.
To minimize contact, 75% of spots will be sold online and 25% will be set aside for in-person purchase. That's a flip from what has been the practice in the past, said Harroun, when only 25% of spots were available online.
The drive-in also is working on a system for online ordering and payment for food, but he said that would not be ready for this weekend.
"We're all working very hard to get this up and running. We ask for your patience," Harroun said.
The concessions menu might be limited initially because some items, such as Dippin' Dots, are out of stock, he said.
Harroun urged people to follow the rules so the drive-in can stay open and offered hope of better days ahead, including possible pre-movie concert and some drive-in concerts.
Harroun manages the Harvest Moon Twin Drive-in Theater in Gibson City, with his brother, Will. Their father, Mike, is the owner and responsible for keeping the drive-in going since 1989.
Supplying schoolchildren's needs
Willie Holton Halbert, Kids Who Serve
Kids Who Serve 4H Club masks
Contact Lenore Sobota at (309) 820-3240. Follow her on Twitter: @Pg_Sobota
Kevin Barlow contributed to this report.
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