After the pandemic struck the whole world, there are undeniably less people spending time in public places. If it’s not really anything urgent or a grocery run, might as well stay indoors, right? And certainly, one of the most affected industries today by this pandemic are the entertainment hubs. Probably a lot of us miss going to the cinemas, grabbing popcorn, and just watching your favorite show on the big screen. While it might take a while for movie theaters to recover, one thing sure is coming back–drive-in cinemas!
While it’s not yet safe for everyone to line up in the movie theaters, drive-in cinemas on the other hand, are the best alternative to satisfying people’s craving for movie nights! Sure, there’s Netflix and all that, but you know nothing is more romantic and cheesier than a drive-in movie date.
So, if you’re thinking of opening one yourself, this is your chance to jump in on this trend. To help you get a headstart on your drive-in movie theater business, we’ve outlined a short guide for you on how to prepare your parking lot space.
1. Obtain the required permits and licenses
First, to make your business official, make sure to register it otherwise, you’ll never even get to start. Now, the permits and licenses can vary depending on your state which is why it is imperative that you check the requirements with your town, city, or county clerk’s office first. Failing to comply would cost you hefty fines or worse, a permanent shutdown of your business.
2. Find an ideal spot of land
Of course, first on our list is to find a plot of land that you can develop into a drive-in cinema. If you already have an empty property lying around in a good location, then this is the time to use it. But for others, you might want to consider whether you should lease or purchase the land.
Typically, a drive-in movie theater will need between 10 to 14 acres of land if you’re considering a 500-car capacity. However today, the capacity could be less than that considering the social distancing measures you need to employ.
3. Consider the slope of the landscape
If you have an empty parking lot lying around, you can utilize that to house a temporary drive-in movie theater while you’re preparing for a new one. You might need a little parking lot resurfacing though in case it’s in a pretty bad shape.
But apart from that, you also need to consider the slope of the property. Usually, a flat terrain would do but one of the most important things you need to check is whether you have just the right slope that will enable everyone to properly view your screen. If you can offer that to all your customers no matter which area they are in your property, then your drive-in cinema will surely become a hit!
Now, if you’re working with an untouched piece of land, you can always consult a paving contractor. You might not realize it, but they also take these things into account so they’re the best people to consult if you want a professional analysis of how to develop your property.
4. Plan the layout and design
The minimum standard dimension of parking spaces is usually 9ft wide by 18ft long but it’s not as easy as it sounds because you also have to take into consideration what the overall layout would look like, not to mention, how the traffic should flow from the entrance to the exit.
This might not be your cup of tea, but you still probably have a good picture in your head of how you want it to appear which is why the best course of action is to consult with your contractor, especially once you start planning on the markings.
5. Build the necessary structures
A drive-in cinema has low maintenance property-wise, but that doesn’t discount the need for you to build essential structures around the area. For one, you would need a ticket booth, a fence or some form of barriers around the property, and most importantly, a restroom. Yes, there is social distancing, but your customers got to take a leak too, right?
Besides, you will also need a projection room for your staff for fixing equipment and the sound system. Perhaps, a designated area for concessionaires would also be ideal.
So apart from the licenses and state permits you need to acquire to finally open your place for business, this is everything you need to transform an empty property into a profitable drive-in movie theater! Don’t forget to check out your local commercial paving contractor in Nashua for your parking lot needs.
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