The Best Thing That Happened This Week: Let’s Pile Into the Car and Go Watch a Movie!

When social distancing shuts down your banquet venue, why not turn your parking lot into a drive-in theater?


 

Let’s all go to the drive-in! Photo by shaunl/Getty Images

When your business is a venerable 89-year-old wedding and banquet venue and coronavirus hits — well, you know what they say about necessity being the mother of invention. For Chuck Gulati, owner of the SunnyBrook Ballroom outside Pottstown — it started its long life as a swim club back in 1931 — the state’s shutdown on events meant it was time to don his thinking cap. After a friend joked that Gulati should turn the venue’s huge parking lot into a drive-in theater, he got to wondering: Why not? As he told WFMZ-TV, the idea “brings a nostalgia for some of us who are older and have grown up going to the drive-ins but haven’t been to one in such a long time.”

The SunnyBrook Social-Distancing Drive-In Movies in action. Photo courtesy of SunnyBrook

Thus was born the 140-car SunnyBrook Social Distancing Drive-In Movie Theater, whose three showings every weekend in conjunction with the nearby Boyertown State Theater have been selling out for more than a month now at $20 a car. (Features have included The Lion King, Mamma Mia and Little Women, shown at dusk on a 40-foot screen; the sound comes through your car’s FM radio.) The ballroom provides concessions — popcorn (of course), hot dogs, burgers and fries, among other goodies, delivered straight to your car — and there are restrooms on-site, though if you leave your vehicle, you have to be masked. Gulati plans to continue showings through the end of June; order tickets in advance via the Boyertown State Theater website. And if you want to propose marriage or wish somebody happy birthday on the big screen, that can be arranged! Just email [email protected].