Walmart Is Converting 160 Parking Lots Into Drive-In Movie Theaters

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Photo Credit: JJBers Public

Drive-in concerts and movies appear poised to become more popular yet, as Walmart and Tribeca Enterprises have partnered to convert 160 Walmart parking lots into socially distanced venues this summer.

Walmart announced its deal with Tribeca just moments ago, though some speculated beforehand that the prominent retail brand and the New York film festival would unveil a formal partnership.

Walmart is quite conspicuously listed (other sponsors include iHeartRadio, Heineken, and Allstate) as a partner for Tribeca’s standalone drive-in dates, scheduled to take place in Florida, New York, California, and Texas throughout July.

It’s unclear at this time whether the reorganized Walmart parking lots will also be suited for hosting drive-in concerts. Nevertheless, the 320 planned drive-in showings – set to initiate in August and wrap in October – may well prompt Walmart officials to double down on socially distanced entertainment opportunities or inspire other retailers to retool their own parking lots for drive-in shows.

To be sure, an array of organizations, artists, and establishments are moving to safely entertain fans amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Miami Dolphins have converted their stadium into a gigantic drive-in movie theater, and country mainstay Garth Brooks broadcasted an exclusive concert to 300 drive-ins across North America last Saturday, June 27th.

Back in May, DMN was first to report that New Jersey’s Lighthouse Film Festival had embraced a drive-in format. Plus, leading concert promoter Live Nation has organized a drive-in concert series featuring Brad Paisley, Jon Pardi, and Nelly, to name some.

Walmart will offer its Tribeca attendees the chance to purchase refreshments (delivered to customers’ cars by staff), as well as curbside pickup options. The 320 showings’ “family-friendly” movies haven’t been specified, nor have the Walmart locations that will host the screenings. However, actors, directors, and celebrities are expected to make surprise appearances at a portion of the functions.

Tribeca’s aforementioned July showings will feature films including Black Panther, The Dark Knight, and The Fast & the Furious, with tickets costing a flat $26 (plus a $9 fee) for each vehicle or $35 (as well as the $9 fee) per vehicle for double features.

Along with the Tribeca deal, Walmart revealed partnerships with NBA star Lebron James, actress Drew Barrymore, Frozen voice actress Idina Menzel, and others today, as part of “Camp by Walmart.” Beginning on July 8th, James, Barrymore, Menzel and additional high-profile figures will provide children with free “camp sessions,” including activities and instructional videos, via the Walmart app.

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