The Big Picture Theater is setting up a drive-in theater at its Waitsfield gathering spot, complete with food and beverage service.
Owner Claudia Becker said the project is still in the beginning phases and that she’d done a test run outside in her backyard to celebrate her son turning 16. She set up a screen and invited his friends to attend via car (with social distancing) to watch “V for Vendetta.”
“That was a good trial because it showed us that we needed a much, much bigger screen, which we’ve ordered. It’s 20 by 20 and it’s going to go either next to the building or maybe facing the pond. We’re still working on that,” Becker said.
Soundtracks will be delivered directly into cars via a radio transmitter. Those in attendance will tune their radios to the appropriate setting. Becker and her staff are still working on the food and beverage takeout plan.
“Takeout is counterintuitive for us. The Big Picture is a gathering place to bring community together. We’re still figuring it out. It will be a limited menu and the movies will be classic films that are fun to watch with your friends. There is some content coming out from film festivals with the potential for online distribution,” Becker said.
She still needs to talk to the town about the plan and is also seeking guidance from the state in terms of whether there’s a limit on how many cars can gather. She and her staff will make sure that social distancing is followed and that there’s no mingling.
“We know that this won’t help much financially, but we don’t want to go completely dark inside and out. We don’t want to have the building empty for so long and want to keep a presence in the community. Plus, our team needs this spiritually for our sense of self and our sense of team and purpose. We’re used to spending a lot of time with each other,” she added.