I know there are much more important things happening in the U.S. right now, but as we begin opening up our state, and businesses are feeling pressure to recoup their losses, I believe that malls and movie theaters have a unique and interesting opportunity to reopen more safely and help satisfy public desire for distraction and entertainment.
Many theaters, especially in local malls, have a significant amount of exterior wall space facing out onto empty parking lots. These spaces could easily be converted into drive-in movie theaters while maintaining social distancing among their patrons.
Malls are losing large sources of revenue during this pandemic as many businesses now lack the ability to pay rent in their facilities. Paint a few walls, manufacture some outdoor screens, set up portable wireless speakers, or broadcast audio on a low power radio frequency, and put off opening theaters outright. By utilizing parking lots and enforcing safety guidelines for theater workers, we could comfortably avoid placing people in enclosed spaces surrounded by strangers while also gaining a sense of normalcy and nostalgic novelty.