And yet, with traditional cineplexes shuttered, it's the drive-ins that are dictating the box office (albeit strangely with catalog films like "Jurassic Park" and "Jaws" dominating their lineups) with their built-in social distancing format.
Suddenly, as movie fans are hungry to get out of the house and enjoy an authentic movie-going experience, they're finding themselves drawn to the simple pleasures of simply pulling up into a glorified parking lot and having the film presented to you right in your car.
Never one to miss an opportunity to give the masses what they want, Walmart has teamed up with Tribeca Enterprises to expand the drive-in experience to more locations across America. Because if there's one thing Walmart has, it's massive parking lots.
The company is even promising the full theater experience when it rolls out nationwide next month, with carhops offering popcorn and refreshments during the film.
These days, drive-in theaters have viewers simply tune into a certain station on their radios for audio, which makes a Walmart drive-in much simpler than the old days when each spot had its own speakers.
For now, they're following the traditional drive-in formula of offering comfort food to consumers in the form of classic pictures, but there's always the possibility of newer releases if those start rolling out again in time.
The Walmart drive-in parking lot experience runs from August to October, with plans to offer 320 screenings of family-friendly films across 160 parking lots across the nation.
It will be interesting to see how well these screenings are attended and if it signals a renewed and lasting interest in the drive-in theater experience -- which could lead to more of them opening up -- or if this is just a coronavirus alternative that will fade away when sit-down theaters open back up.