MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Some Minnesota businesses aren’t waiting for the governor’s approval to reopen.

Along Highway 22 in Meeker County, you’ll find a blast from the past — the Starlite Drive-In Theater, near Litchfield. David Quincer, the theater’s owner, said he’ll begin showing movies Friday night.

“It’s really nostalgic. Sit in your car in the drive-in and watch it,” Sheila Bergeron said.

The Starlite theaters’ screens stand 50 feet tall. And people like Bergeron have been waiting for the main features to come back.

“I think that’s a great thing. Maybe it’s too soon for theaters, but drive-ins, for sure,” Bergeron said.

Quincer believes his business and his customers have waited long enough.

“We have slowly been seeing them open up now. Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, and Illinois are all allowing drive-ins to operate,” Quincer said.

But so far not Minnesota. Despite that, Quincer believes his own safety guidelines go above and beyond. He’s installed new speaker posts and only one car will be allowed to park between them instead of two. They will also run at half capacity.

“We are going to require them to stay inside the vehicle when they watch the movie,” Quincer said. “The sheriff gave us a copy of how they are allowing drive-in churches to operate right now. And their comment was we appear to be exceeding those guidelines.”

From the previews to the credits, Quincer himself is eager to see how this plot plays out. For him it’s not about making a statement it’s about making a living.

“My livelihood has been completely shut down for two months now. We feel this is a way we can get open, generate some income, and do it safely,” Quincer said.

Quincer said he’s also asking his customers to only leave their vehicles for the snack bar or to use the restroom. And even then he’s asking them to stay 6 feet away from each other. They will have markings on the ground to space people out.

John Lauritsen

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