Posted on: September 16, 2020 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

Event unites community for fun socially-distant escape

By Carolyn Thill, Editor-in-Chief 

As the sun went down over the parking lot across from Moraine Valley, little Noah Buekema showed off his dance skills from the top of a pickup bed while waiting for the drive-in movie to start.

“Fun time with family, good weather, family time in the truck,” said his mother, Danielle Beukema, a student of addiction studies at MVCC.  “My son loves this movie.  He has seen it and the first one at least four times.” 

More than 90 people in 30 vehicles enjoyed the film “Jumanji: The Next Level” at a drive-in movie night hosted by Moraine Valley’s Student Life department on Sept. 3. The department passed out goody bags with popcorn, candy, and water, and music played over a robust speaker for everyone to enjoy while waiting for the movie to start.

Photo by Carolyn Thill
As the sun sets, members of the Moraine community, including student Danielle Buekema and her family, enjoy “Jumanji: The Next Level.”

The event was held across the street from campus, behind Building U on a gravel lot.  The film was shown on an inflatable screen while guests tuned into 87.9 on their radio. 

With COVID-19 taking over our lives, we have had few fun activities to enjoy, especially when it involves gatherings. Could this nasty virus have ironically led to a way of uniting people? 

In this modern time of social distancing, old-fashioned fun may be making a comeback, and turning off distractions for a fun and safe evening with family and friends could be just what the doctor ordered. 

Since the virus hit, businesses and local parks have adopted the same idea that Moraine Valley did, sponsoring their own drive-in movie nights. Soldier Field held drive-in events, complete with live music, throughout the summer.

Photo by Carolyn Thill

The temperature the night of Moraine’s drive-in felt like a lovely fall evening, with a nice breeze and comfortable temperatures around the low 70s. Spirits were lifted as students and faculty had something pleasurable to look forward to. 

People were stretched out on top of the hood, or even having a picnic in the bed of their truck. 

Janet Saweres, who works in the Moraine IT Department, says, “I haven’t seen a movie since COVID-19 struck.”  She said she was not aware that any drive-in movie theaters still existed.

Some drive-in theaters remain in operation, often offering a choice of two screens, both showing a double feature for the price of one. Although guests can bring their own snacks, drive-in movies also offer concession stands with great choices.  And, for those that come early, there usually is a woodsy lot of land to play ball.

To see a drive-in movie nearby, check out Chicago Drive-In at 7000 S. Harlem Ave. in Bridgeview. The website lists coming attractions and policies.

Here is one way we can turn a dim situation into a brighter experience, whether it’s in the spring, summer or fall.  Now, on with the show!