With the return of warm weather and increasing access to vaccines, Marylanders are looking for activities outside the house. An old favorite is gearing up for the spring and summer.
It’s Bengies Drive-In, situated just off the banks of Frog Mortar Creek in Middle River. A visit here feels like a visit to the past.
Of course, there are signs of our present reality; masked faces and a half-capacity crowd.
In a pandemic world short on options for getting out of the house, Bengies Drive-In stayed open all winter to give Marylanders a chance to get back to the silver screen.
General manager Ken Adam said the theater had to work with the health department to open at all last year.
“It was a little bit of a battle to get open,” he said. “You know, at the beginning, we were kind of lumped in with an indoor theatre. So, we weren’t allowed to open as early as we had hoped to open.”
Eventually, the theater came up with a plan to open safely. Customers are asked to wear masks when they’re outside their vehicles, and to stay six feet apart when waiting in line.
The pandemic didn’t keep fans away, and the theatre often sold out its half capacity last summer. Adam doesn’t anticipate a change to the mask rules any time soon, but hopes they’ll be able to increase their capacity in the coming months. They may also be able to move away from their schedule of classic films.
“We have a lot of, you know, good movies coming up,” Adam said. “We actually have some first-run movies…some bigger name movies that are being released that we hope to be able to play in the near future.”