Athens drive-in theater practices social distancing during coronavirus pandemic

Cinemagic Theatre is looking forward to another event Memorial Day weekend.

Posted: May 16, 2020 9:23 PM
Updated: May 18, 2020 8:23 AM

Saturday night, several people came out to enjoy a night on the green in Athens, all while keeping social distancing a priority.

The Cinemagic Theatre on South Jefferson Street opened its outdoor gates, allowing people to watch a movie at their drive-in "screen on the green."

However, under the Safer at Home order, entertainment venues are supposed to be closed. We found out why and how they were open.

Saturday night's show was for a fundraiser and all the profits are going to a local food bank. In order for this to happen, the city of Athens and Attorney General's office had to make an exception.

Since it's an outdoor theater where people can stay six feet apart by staying in their vehicles, the owner was granted it.

"I can get out of the house and socialize a little bit without having to be right on top of somebody and being outside and getting some sunshine and good weather," said Nancy Cifers.

This is what brought Cifers and Nanette Taylor out on a Saturday night. The two said it felt good to be doing something other than sitting at home and watching TV. Instead, they were able to catch a movie at this outdoor theater and help to feed families in exchange.

"It was good to donate some money to help the churches involved, because like the schools have been donating food to the hungry kids, that's a donation, too," said Nanette.

Changes were made in order to comply with social distancing. Only 40 cars were allowed in when usually, there's about 80.

If you want some popcorn or a drink, you can call and employees will bring it to you. This way, you don't have to get out of your car.

The movie-goers seemed to adjust well to the changes, eager to catch another show next weekend.

"Definitely. We definitely would come back," said Taylor.

Friday was the first time Cinemagic allowed people back in for the theater services since March. The indoor theaters will remain closed, but they're gearing up for another drive-in session for Memorial Day weekend.

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