Opening Night At Winchester Drive-In Draws Crowds Amid COVID-19

Friday, May 8th 2020, 9:45 pm


Large crowds descended to south Oklahoma City Friday night as a staple in the community, the Winchester Drive-In Theater, opened for the first time this season.

Opening night for the drive in is typically around Easter. However, COVID-19 changed that.

Tickets couldn't be torn fast enough. It was bumper to bumper of people desperate for entertainment amid a pandemic.

Jessica Chapman and her kids couldn’t get out of the house fast enough.

“They’re (kids) driving us crazy,” said Chapman. “They want to see the movie Trolls.”

Trolls World Tour has been released for several weeks now. Winchester owner, Jeff Massad, was worried attendance would reflect that.

With masks and gloves, the ticket booth had to open an hour early because of long lines.

Many people were turned away.

Chanda Williams decided to celebrate her birthday with family at the drive in.

“We were here, like the third or fourth person in line,” said Williams. “We’ve never been to a drive-in so we Googled it really quick to see what we all needed. We have our air mattress, a lot of games, we’re ready.”

This isn't the same Winchester many Oklahomans have been used to for decades.

Vehicles are being spaced apart for now, only allowing half the usual capacity.

Ten people are being allowed in concessions at a time. Masks are mandatory as you make your way inside. And are being sold to people who need one.

“Everyone has been really good about wearing masks,” said Massad. We’re marking off where you stand, people are doing the six foot (distancing) and it is working out great.”

COVID-19 has brought on challenges and hardships we've never experienced before.

A break from all that is most welcome.

“We made plans last weekend to do this weekend,” said the Wright family

Trolls World Tour will be playing all weekend at the Winchester Drive-In Theatre. On Saturday and Sunday, the movie starts at 8:30 p.m.

Massad urges anyone who plans to attend, to arrive early to avoid being turned away.