Could Maine’s Drive-In Theaters Host Concerts?
Let me start by saying, to my knowledge, this has not been discussed. Nor are there any plans to discuss this idea. I am just tossing it out there…
I know many people are upset about the very real possibility that the pandemic could cause us to miss out on the entire 2020 summer concert season. Better to be cautious, of course. Clearly, we want everyone to remain safe and healthy.
But, what if there was another option?
Under Phase 1 of Governor Janet Mills’ re-opening plan, some outdoor-oriented businesses were allowed to open on May 1st. Drive-in movie theaters, for example.
What if concerts could be held at Maine’s drive-in theaters? Yes, it would dramatically decrease the amount of people able to attend concerts. Instead of 7,000 people going to a show, we might see 1,000 people in attendance (assuming most people’s cars were full).
Obviously, the experience would be way different than we’re used to: no concessions, no beer garden, no pre-show parking lot parties, no pit, and all of the musicians would have to remain socially-distant while of stage.
On the plus side, you’d probably get the music fed to your car from the drive-in’s low-power FM radio station, just like you would if you were seeing a movie. As a result, the music would be way clearer without any echo or feedback. And, YOU’D get to control the volume level. No more screaming into the ear of the person next to you. Lame song? Turn it down… Good song? Crank it up! Also, you'd be able to bring in your own snacks!
Drive-in theaters in Maine include:
The Skowhegan Drive-In – 201 Waterville Road in Skowhegan.
Bangor Drive-In - 1674 Hammond Street in Hermon,
Narrow Gauge Cinema – 15 Front Street in Farmington.
Bridgton Twin Drive-In Theater – 383 Portland Road in Bridgton.
Saco Drive-In – 969 Portland Road in Saco.
Prides Corner Drive-In – Portland Road in Westbrook.
I think I speak for us all when I say that we hope that soon the curve will be flat enough for the large gathering restrictions to be loosened. If that happens, maybe we could see a return of concerts by late-summer or early fall. But, in the meantime, could this be an alternative?
Additionally, they could also be used to host stage plays.
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