As the prospects for going back to see movies indoors anytime soon grows dimmer, pop-up drive-ins are spreading. Now you can enjoy a socially distanced movie with dozens of other cars from Santa Monica to Montclair, along with more points in between.
In the heart of Hollywood, you’re even getting new(ish) movies. The much-hyped Tenet started playing nightly on Saturday at the Hollywood Legion Drive-In, a drive-in set up outside an American Legion hall just south of the Hollywood Bowl, ahead of the movie’s home release. The screen might not be the IMAX that director Christopher Nolan had envisioned, but it’s keeping the theatrical experience alive while we can’t be together in a movie theater.
The movie is the biggest Warner Bros. release since the pandemic began and one of its last releases before announcing that Wonder Woman 1984 would kick off plans to put all of its new movies on streaming site HBO Max through 2021. And the Legion Drive-In will be screening Wonder Woman 1984 on Christmas Day too — tickets go on sale Thursday at 9 a.m., making it one of the few places in the city to see the movie in-person.
Hollywood’s American Legion Post 43 had recently renovated to add a $5 million theater with almost 500 seats, with the ability to screen both 35 millimeter and 70 millimeter film. But COVID-19 has meant a theater left empty most of this year.
“I actually went to Bill Steele, the theater director, and told him that I really thought that we should consider converting our parking lot back here into a drive-in theater,” the Legion’s chief projectionist Taylor Umphenour told LAist. He also works as a projectionist for the Motion Picture Academy and several of the major studios.