I don't know about you, but I miss going to the movies.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, theaters across the nation shut their doors to comply with bans on large gatherings and to help slow the spread of the virus. Many, including the Grand Avenue Theater and the Beltonian in Belton, are still offering groceries and snacks for delivery.

Ordering from them is a great way to support local businesses, and while watching new movies at home is convenient, there are some films that just need to be experienced on a huge screen with great sound systems.

Until it's safe to start going into the theaters again, movie houses will continue getting creative to offer services to their communities.

For example, Grand Avenue Theater is hosting a pop-up drive-in movie Friday, April 24 and Saturday, April 25.

For $5 per carload, you can enjoy The Secret Life of Pets 2 Friday evening, or Jumanji: The Next Level Saturday evening in their parking lot. Parking for both films opens at 7 PM, and the movies are scheduled to start at 8 PM or whenever it's dark enough to begin.

You can pay with cash or via the Venmo app, and concessions will be available via text.

Here's the menu they'll be offering:

  • Large Popcorn - $5
  • Large Fountain Drink - $5
  • Nachos - $4
  • Candy - $3
  • 7" Cheese or Pepperoni Pizza - $7
  • 7" Meat Lover Pizza - $8
  • 10" Cheese or Pepperoni Pizza - $9
  • 10" Meat Lover Pizza - $10

They're taking social distancing responsibilities seriously, so there are some rules:

  • No refills will be available for your safety.
  • They ask that no more than 2 people be in each of their restrooms at one time, and highly recommend using the restroom before leaving home.
  • They ask that you stay in your car or truck bed at all times, unless you absolutely must exit to use the restroom.
  • They will not allow oversized trucks or vans in order to ensure every family can see the movie.

That all seems fair to me.

If you're itching to get out of the house and see a movie, but still want to be safe and responsible, this is a fantastic opportunity to do both.

The Secret Life of Pets 2 is an animated feature from the folks behind the Despicable Me and Minions movies, so you know it'll be full of vibrant colors, sight gags, and mile-a-minute jokes.

I haven't seen Jumanji: The Next Level yet, but I saw the first one (well, not the first first one, but you know what I mean) back in 2017 and it was surprisingly great. Jumanji: The Next Level features the same cast, director, and writing team, so I expect it to be lots of fun.