Drive-in Movie event provides entertainment, social distancing
By Gabrielle Prather
Bridge Staff Writer
Published Monday, Sept. 21, 2020
One of the newest additions to campus activities, included a late August Drive-in Movie event, the finale of Welcome Week 2020. “The Conjuring” became a horror feast for the eyes of students who attended the event, but in a pandemic-friendly way.
Last semester, TAMIU administrators chose virtual learning options due to the novel coronavirus pandemic and further added to those options proceeding into the Fall 2020 semester. Likewise, the Student Organization, Leadership and Engagement Office, as well as its member campus organizations, responded in new ways to the pandemic.
Every fall semester, the University’s Welcome Week events allow students to become more involved and to help adjust to campus life. Even though this semester is different from others, Welcome clubs and organizations made the decision to go virtual with most events. Every day of the week included an event leading up to Friday’s finale.
On Aug. 28, SOLE held a Drive-in Movie in the parking lot near the Sen. Judith Zaffirini Student Success Center. The free event was promoted through social media platforms so students could reserve a parking space for two students each. In a matter of only a few hours the RSVP sold out. Just days before the event took place, a couple students canceled which left some spots open.
Upon attendees arriving at the event, SOLE representatives checked each car to verify eligibility. Organizers provided complimentary snacks — a goody kit with popcorn, sodas and hot dogs — so students could better enjoy the film.
TAMIU senior Genesis Torres attended this unique Laredo event. Larodoans rarely get the opportunity to go to a drive-in since the Bordertown Drive-In, which opened by 1958, closed in the early 1980s for development of Interstate 35 and was demolished.
“Attending a TAMIU event during this time was much needed,” Torres wrote to The Bridge in a text. “It really made me so happy to just get away … while being safe and to just hang out with a friend of mine and just enjoy a movie. It was really nice.
“My experience in the drive-in was more fun than I expected. The staff was so nice and the idea of the event was great.”
Due to the pandemic, social distancing requirements make it so a drive-in-style event is a safer alternative for students, faculty and staff to remain healthy. Around the nation, drive-in cinemas were some of the first movie outlets to reopen during pandemic and drive-ins also offered live music concerts.
“Even with the virus, I feel very safe and comfortable in the drive-in,” Torres continued in the text. “Even the cars were social distancing and there was no way that anybody else was close to me other than the person in the car with me and the staff members had a mask, so I felt good.”
Students, like Torres, enjoy the social distance and had fun at the film from the convenience of their personal vehicles.
“I really do hope and I wish [TAMIU] would do more events like this, even after this whole situation,” Torres also wrote in a text. “I hope that TAMIU can continue it because it was really fun.”