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Walmart is converting its parking lots into drive-in movie theaters

Walmart announced it will be converting 160 parking lots into drive-in movie theaters.

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The entrance to a Walmart in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, June 25, 2019.  The big box chain is converting 160 of its store parking lots across the U.S. into drive-in movie theaters for screenings happening August through October.

Gene J. Puskar, Associated Press

You really can buy almost anything at Walmart.

The big box chain announced Wednesday that it will be converting 160 of its parking lots into drive-in movie theaters across the country.

“Starting in August at select Walmart stores, we’re partnering with @Tribeca and rolling out the red carpet for drive-in movie premieres, complete with car-side and service. Stay tuned for more details. See you at the movies!” the company said in a tweet.

CNN reported that Walmart is partnering with Tribeca Enterprises, the media company backed by Robert De Niro, to launch the new drive-in initiative. It’s an extension of Tribeca’s existing drive-in program, which has announced events in cities such as Los Angeles, New York and Seattle, TechCrunch reported. These Walmart screenings, which will include more than 300 events, are currently scheduled for August through October. 

According to Walmart’s recent tweet, the drive-in program will include car-side drink and beverage service. 

“This family-friendly night will include hit movies, special appearances from filmmakers and celebrities, and concessions delivered right to customer vehicles,” Walmart said in a press release

What movies will they show? That hasn’t been announced yet, but there’s a good chance Tribeca Enterprises, who oversees programming for Walmart’s new program, will pull from its existing slate of previously announced drive-in films, which includes “The Bodyguard,” “Straight Outta Compton,” “Creed,” “Jerry Maguire,” “Mean Girls,” “Back to the Future,” “Superbad,” “Space Jam,” “The Lego Movie” and “Spy Kids,” among others.

“Building a new drive-in is expensive and they need lots of land,” Gizmodo reported. “That isn’t often easy to come by in dense suburban areas where they can be most profitable. So it’s a smart move by Walmart as the company already has thousands of sprawling parking lots across the country.”

As the COVID-19 pandemic has shut down traditional movie theaters, drive-in theaters have experienced a resurgence. Existing drive-ins have welcomed larger audiences than they’ve seen in years, and other business big and small have converted their parking lots into makeshift drive-ins. Now we can add Walmart to the growing list.