'Our hearts are broken': 'Big Mo' drive-in to stay closed during coronavirus crisis
Thursday, March 26, 2020
MONETTA, SC (WRDW/WAGT) -- In a reversal of earlier plans, the owners of the “Big Mo” drive-in theater in Aiken County are closing it for now due to health and safety reasons during the coronavirus crisis.
In addition, no movies are being released during the pandemic with most theaters closed to cut down COVID-19 transmission risks.
The owners said in a statement Thursday that the decision was made in light of South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster’s executive order Monday allowing state law enforcement agents to disperse congregations of three or more. The owners said they also consulted with the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office.
“This was an incredibly difficult decision and our hearts are broken,” the owners said. “While we consider the drive-in to be ‘essential’ to us and our customers, in truth, it is not. If our closing saves one life, then it was worth every penny lost.”
They had earlier announced plans to be open on weekends, but with some alterations to encourage social distancing.
The owners are unsure when they might be able to reopen the business that’s formally known as the Monetta Drive In Theatre at 5822 Columbia Highway North in Monetta.
“No one knows when things will become ‘normal’ again,” the owners said. “There will be no significant Hollywood movies released until at least the middle of May,” they said, adding that the drive-in will stay closed until there are viable movies to screen.
“However, whether it’s 2020, 2021 or later, we plan to be back with more of ‘The Big Show at The Big MO.’”
They added: “We’ll see you again ‘reel’ soon.”