Just ahead of the Fourth of July weekend, Walmart announced a partnership with Robert De Niro's Tribeca Enterprises (most notably the purveyors of the film festival of the same name) that’s set to convert 160 store locations into makeshift drive-in movie theaters.
The move is an extension of the existing Tribeca-led Drive-In program that has already announced events for a handful of cities, including Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Seattle and Arlington, Texas, with help from IMAX and AT&T. The Hollywood Reporter has a bit more detail about the new initiative. Details are still pretty thin, but the involvement of such a ubiquitous retailer could help extend the program to communities outside of the aforementioned urban centers.
The 160 store/theater locations, when announced, will be listed at this Walmart Drive-in website.
Walmart Drive-In follows a number of smaller-scale initiatives that have helped the largely extinguished drive-in theater see a resurgence as consumers are understandably wary of returning to an indoor theater experience as COVID-19 continues to spike across the country. Most theaters have relied on older films — in fact, "Jurassic Park" recently hit No. 1 at the U.S. box office nearly 30 years after its release on the strength of the new trend.
The Walmart screenings are set for August through October, with Tribeca at the helm of the film selection. No word yet on the schedule, but Tribeca’s previously announced selection includes "Selena," "The Bodyguard," "Straight Outta Compton," "Creed," "Jerry Maguire," "Space Jam," "Love & Basketball," "Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure," "Back to the Future," "Mean Girls," "Superbad," "Girls Trip," "Bridesmaids," "Talladega Nights," "The Fast and The Furious," "Goldfinger," "Casino Royale," "Inside Out," "The Lego Movie" and "Spy Kids."
Written by Brian Heater for TechCrunch