(WXYZ) — The Friday night drive-in tradition is trying to make a comeback in metro Detroit.
Due to COVID-19, indoor movie theaters remain closed in Michigan, and the fight for drive-ins to open has been ongoing.
Later on Friday, Canterbury Village in Lake Orion will re-open with limited capacity, while the Ford-Wyoming drive-in is now closed – again.
On the marquee Friday morning, a message read that the Ford-Wyoming drive-in will be closed until June 12 after opening up just Thursday night. The owner confirmed the closing with 7 Action News and says it is in cooperation with Dearborn police.
“You’ve got hardworking entrepreneurs that are just getting crushed right now,” says Keith Aldridge, the owner of Canterbury Village in Lake Orion.
On Friday at 1 p.m., they’ll welcome back movie goers to their venue.
“We have a five acre field, which can hold about 400 to 500 cars," said Aldridge. "We’re only allowing 160 cars in for each movie. Each car will have it’s own 14 to 20 foot section roped off.”
For reference, this was the sign last night. We're reaching out to management to get more details. Not seeing anything posted on FB or drive-in's website, which still lists showings for tonight and this weekend @wxyzdetroit pic.twitter.com/5Xgrg74Mat— Jenn Schanz (@JennSchanzWXYZ) May 29, 2020
Patrons will also be required to wear face coverings in the concession area.
The movie’s sound plays through the FM radio, so patrons won’t have to even roll down their windows.
Owner Keith Aldridge tried to re-open his doors twice previously in the past month or so — and was shut down.
He mentioned that along with his small business, other small businesses in Lake Orion are also slowly beginning to re-open.
Something he feels is long over-due.
“You know you’re trying to employ some people and trying to make a living for yourself, and then you watch these big box stores being able to operate, or Mcdonald's drive-thru. A small business owner can operate the same way with safe practices.”
Under this latest order, there’s loosened restrictions on retailers and auto dealerships.
So where do drive-ins fall from a legal stand point, given that they’re not indoors?
7 Action News reporter Jenn Schanz reached out to the governor’s office for clarification on this. Either way, Aldridge says he’s opening Friday for business.
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