spectators can’t turn off the headlights

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Drive-ins have been great in the United States in these months of the pandemic, but food and drink kiosks have also had to equip themselves with cables to recharge car batteries.

Drive-ins in the United States have always been an alternative to indoor halls in the summer. Of course, not as it once was. With that glorious past that in the 50s placed them among the very first places in weekend activities, getting into a car and parking in front of a screen was one way stay with family turning the car into what today it is the sofa at home. Or a solution for have some privacy, if you were a newly engaged couple. From the 1980s to the 2000s, American drive-ins shrank from 2400 to 310 across the US, but in these months of pandemic, are in a sense resurrected if not born in almost improvised parking lots with makeshift screens, ensuring the safety distance between spectators closed each in their own cockpit. We have returned to breathe a vintage atmosphere inside modern machines. The machines, in fact.

How does a drive-in work?

You arrive by car, buy a ticket, reach a place and stop. Up here, here we are. But the audio of the film? Once the audio was broadcast from small speakers scattered in the parking area, but since the advent of car radios, the soundtrack has been radiated from the projection booth on an FM frequency and it is enough to tune in to listen to the film from the speakers of your car. The car radio obviously consumes the battery and if the engine is not running, the risk is that of being at the end of the projection with the car stationary.

This is nothing new for regular customers, but many Americans who had never gone there discovered this inconvenience, also because with their modern machines and automatic transmission, they ended up leaving other lights on without realizing it. Many of the recent problems, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter magazine, are related to turning off the headlights. Nobody knows how they turn off because they come out of factories with the lights on by default. Car on he turned on, car off, lights off. Not everyone knows how to find the right setting between electrical panel on to give power to the radio and lights off, so the food and drink kiosks have also equipped themselves for the sale of a very useful accessory: the cables. And for the headlights that stay on, drive-in personnel must find ways to shield the beams of light that were bothering other spectators, by placing covering cloths or garbage cans in front of us.

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