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'Big Mo' drive-in theater set to reopen for concerts, then movies

(WRDW)
Published: May. 28, 2020 at 12:37 PM EDT
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Thursday, May 28, 2020

MONETTA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Closed for weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic, the “Big Mo” drive-in movie theater will soon test the waters as a concert venue before reopening for movies this summer.

Awakening Events Inc. has rented the drive-in — officially known as the Monetta Drive-In Theatre — to present a series of concerts.

The owners of the drive-in said they feel the concert might give them a chance to test COVID-19 safety measures before reopening for movies sometime this summer.

Although the pandemic has

the Big Mo has been entertaining folks for decades.

It opened in 1951 as a single-screen theater at 5822 Columbia Highway North, between Columbia and Augusta. It closed in 1986, but reopened in 1999 under new ownership. A second screen was added in 2005 and a third screen was added in 2011. A giant peach was built in 2014 to house a digital projector.

The drive-in normally offers double features on weekends from March through November.

However, the pandemic and stay-at-home orders across the U.S. arrived just in time for the drive-in's 2020 season.

The owners initially planned to stay open with social distancing restrictions. Ultimately, they

.

Looking ahead to the reopening, these will be among the rules at the drive-in — although more may be instituted:

• Customers must wear masks that cover the mouth and nose when they are away from their vehicles.

• Fifty percent capacity will be imposed – one vehicle per set of posts.

• A 6-foot distance between customers must be maintained at concessions and in restroom lines.

As far as the concert series, first up is Grammy-winning Christian hip-hop artist TobyMac on June 23. Tickets must be purchased in advance online at

.

You can learn more about the drive-in at

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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