After months of being cooped up with nothing to do, now the family can go out for a night at the movies at... Walmart (WMT 0.29%).
Running from Aug. 14 through Oct. 21, the retail behemoth will convert its store parking lots into drive-in movie theaters and will show a collection of 320 hit movies, including Black Panther, Wonder Woman, E.T., Cars, and The Lego Movie. The viewings will be free of charge, but reservations are required.
Come for the shopping, stay for the movie
Walmart chief customer officer Janey Whiteside said in a statement, "We recognize the challenges our customers and their families have faced over the last few months and we wanted to create an experience where they could come together safely to create new memories."
The initiative, though, may steal some of the momentum movie theater chains AMC Entertainment Holdings, Cinemark Holdings, and Regal were hoping to build as their movie houses are opening this month, too.
The forced closure of theaters put their financial future at risk, and with Hollywood studios delaying or even abandoning the big screen altogether with some of their biggest movie debuts, a diversion such as Walmart's maneuver is likely unwanted. The few remaining actual drive-in theaters undoubtedly won't appreciate the competition, either.
While many have likely already seen the movies being shown, the drive-in experience may be a unique one if Walmart can pull it off as it gives families a chance to enjoy a film together while social distancing at the same time.
To reserve a parking spot for the drive-in showing, customers can visit www.TheWalmartDriveIn.com beginning at 5 p.m. EDT tonight to choose a date and location for the viewing. Once reserved, the customer will receive a QR code to gain admission.