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Movies will return to the big screen on Friday in Madera with the reopening of the only remaining local drive-in theater.

Madera 2 Drive-In announced on Facebook it will open its gates once again this weekend with new rules in place to ensure social distancing to address COVID-19 concerns.

Double Features Scheduled on Two Screens

The outdoor theater offers two screens and will show double features in both sections. Trolls World Tour and Dolittle will play on Screen 1 while Knives Out and The Hunt will play on Screen 2. The box office opens at 7:30 p.m. with movies starting at dusk. The theater accepts cash only.

Pre-sale tickets will be available at the theater on Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. for Friday night and Saturday night showings, according to the Madera Drive In website.  The theater is located east of Highway 99 at 201 East Lincoln Ave.

The drive-in is requiring all moviegoers to have a face covering that must be worn whenever they are outside of their vehicle. Viewers must watch from inside their vehicles (sitting in the bed of a pickup is OK), which will be spaced a minimum of 10 feet apart. Markings are being provided in parking areas.

The film’s sound plays through each vehicle’s FM radio.

In this 2016 photo, Madera Drive 2 In patrons wait for a movie to begin. The theater will reopen on Friday with double features on two screens. Moviegoers will be required to sit inside their vehicle (inside the bed of a pickup truck is OK) and practice social distancing. (Courtesy Madera Drive-In via Facebook)

One of California’s Few Remaining Outdoor Theaters

The theater’s website said the drive-in’s snack bar and restrooms will be open, but capacity will be limited and six-feet of social distancing is required at all times.

Madera 2 Drive-In is one of only about 16 outdoor theaters still operating in California. It originally opened in 1948 as the El Rio Drive-in.

The next closest theater of the kind, Sunset Drive-In of San Luis Obispo, reopened last weekend.

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