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Walmart rolls out drive-in movie theatres

The idea is perfect for stir-crazy families looking for a safe way to get out of the house, but tickets seem to be going quickly

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Photo (c) TennesseePhotographer - Getty Images
Here’s one from the whodathunkit department: Walmart is going to turn its parking lots into drive-in movie theatres.

With only 16 percent of consumers saying they feel confident going to a movie theatre in the middle of the pandemic, the retail chain feels that families who have been playing by the rules are ready for some good, clean -- and safe -- fun.

The experience -- Walmart Drive-in -- is free and debuts in the parking lots of 160 Walmart stores in the U.S. starting August 14.

“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,” said Janey Whiteside, Walmart’s chief customer officer.

What’s on tap

Walmart is partnering with the Tribeca Film Festival to help make Walmart Drive-in a reality. The promotion will run from August 14 through October 21. 

All told, there will be 320 showings of movies with the following set as part of the line-up:

  • Friday Night Lights

  • The Karate Kid

  • Space Jam

  • Black Panther

  • Pokémon Detective Pikachu

  • The Lego Batman Movie

  • Spider-ManTM: Into The Spider-Verse

  • Spy Kids

  • Teen Titans GO! To the Movies

  • Wonder Woman

  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

  • Ghostbusters

  • Men in BlackTM: International

  • Back to the Future

  • Beetlejuice

  • The Goonies

  • The Wizard of Oz

  • Dolphin Tale

  • Selena

  • Cars

  • The Iron Giant

  • The Lego Movie 

  • Madagascar

Celebrity guest appearances 

The folks at Tribeca and Walmart promise that, as a bonus, filmmakers and special guests might swing by to say hi -- either live or virtually. Drew Barrymore will serve as virtual hostess for all events, but she’s committed to showing up in-person at one location. Families will also be treated to surprise virtual or in-person appearances from Jennifer Garner, LeBron James, and Chrissy Metz at select showings.

To reserve a space for the Walmart Drive-in, customers can visit TheWalmartDriveIn.com to pick their desired date and location. Once confirmed, customers will receive an email with a QR code, which will grant their vehicle entry on the day of the event.

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