The District of Columbia granted permission to Events DC and Union Market to open drive-in movie theaters during the coronavirus pandemic, following social distancing measures.
Events DC owns and manages many venues in the city, including the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Robert F. Kennedy Stadium, and Nationals Park. It will be teaming up with Broccoli City to build a drive-in movie theater with a capacity of 350 cars on the Robert F. Kennedy Campus.
The theater will be operating throughout this summer.
The idea of a pop-up theater was first presented by Broccoli City to Events DC, following the cancellation of Broccoli City Festival 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“We started thinking through alternatives to bring people together in D.C.,” Jermon Williams, communications director with Broccoli City, told DCist. “A drive-in just made sense. We’re coming together to curate this safe and affordable pop-up experience for families, couples, and the entire D.C. community.”
The DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency sent a letter of approval on Saturday for Events DC’s request for a waiver to run the theater during the pandemic.
The agency listed a number of safety guidelines to be put in place in its letter, in addition to the plan submitted by Events DC.
All guests will arrive and stay in their vehicles. Cleaning and disinfectant protocols will be followed, as well as social distancing. All food and beverages will be ordered and delivered by event employees.
Events DC will also have to keep records of individuals who attended (at least one name with contact information per vehicle), as well as maintain records of which servers or staff attended which vehicles.
Other details of the pop-up theater are still being discussed between the organizers and the city, and will be available soon.
The agency also approved Union Market’s plans to bring back drive-in movie screenings.