SANTA MARIA, Calif. - It's the start to the holiday weekend, and there's one more activity open for families to enjoy. The Hi-way Drive-in Theater is opening in Santa Maria with a new movie.
Vehicles wait in line and families set up their chairs for the re-opening of Santa Maria's Hi-Way Drive-In. They are visibly excited.
Serenity Macedo, a high school junior, and her two younger sisters sit in lawn chairs outside their family truck. "We've been playing a lot of games with each other, watching movies, tv, so this is actually really cool," she said. They all agreed they are tired of watching Netflix.
Everyone at the drive-in must bring a mask, and wear it at the snack bar or in the wash room.
"We have to operate under a set of guidelines and rules regulated by the county health department," said Bob Gram, the vice president of operations at the theatre. "They have gone out of their way to help us."
Before the pandemic, the theater could have up to 600 cars or so. But now during the pandemic, they're only allowing half as many cars to allow for 10 to 15 feet of distance between cars.
The theatre will show The New Mutants, which was released the last week of August. It's the first in a string of new movies.
After this one, we're looking forward to playing Wonder Woman on October 2, and then followed probably by the James Bond after that," said Gram.
With so few movies released since the pandemic, everyone at the theater is excited to see something they have not seen before. Still, they said that's not the most important thing.
"When I heard that they were going to have movies tonight, it really wasn't important about what the movie was," said John MacKinnon, an Orcutt resident. "We just wanted to be able to come out and have a great night together as a family."