BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. — The owner of Bengies Drive-in Theatre in Baltimore County said the theatre will be ready to open in 10-14 days.
Governor Larry Hogan announced Wednesday that the drive-in theatre can get back to business Friday at 5:00 p.m., but D. Vogel, who owns the only one in the state, said he needs more time to work with the county health department to come up with a plan to open safely.
He said he is waiting for more guidance from local and state leaders.
“My first goal is to get open and to make sure anybody attending here feel safe in attendance," Vogel said.
In the meantime, Vogel said he's exploring ideas, which include opening at half capacity, requiring customers to wear masks and to possibly have them park in every other space to ensure social distancing.
But, Vogel maintains his belief that drive-in theatres are safe and people will already be socially distanced because they will be isolated in their cars. He said he doesn't believe there is an increased risk of getting the virus by attending a movie at a drive-in theatre.
"Other drive-ins were open during the stay at home order and were invited to provide relief. If you look around the country there’s been no situation where anybody thought by doing that it would increase a risk," he said.
Vogel, who told us earlier this week the drive-in was on the brink of closing, had been pleading with the state to allow him open his business for the past two weeks.
At the time, he said if churches can hold drive-in services and beaches could reopen, his theatre should have been able to open as well.
He said it's surreal and that he's looking forward to finally getting back to business.
“I had a moment. First I didn’t expect it, then I had a moment," he said. "I'm glad."
Vogel said tickets will likely be provided online for customers to prevent long lines. He said they will be available in the next week.