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Maryland's only drive-in movie theater ready to reopen after COVID-19 delay

Bengies begins new season with new rules
Posted at 8:20 AM, Jun 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-03 23:21:12-04

MIDDLE RIVER, Md. — Bengies is back.

Maryland's one and only drive-in movie theater opens Wednesday night for first time this season.

COVID-19 restrictions have kept the screen dark until now.

After Bengies missed its spring opening, the owner fought to reopen during Phase One of the Governor's Roadmap to Recovery plan. He got his approval last Friday.

There's a double feature of Sonic the Hedgehog, and Jumanji: The Next Level. The first show is at 8:45p.m. Wednesday.

Because of social distancing and other COVID-19 precautions are still in effect, moviegoers will have to buy their tickets ahead of time online.

Bengie's begins its 65th operating season with new rules.

Even though customers will be in their cars, CDC guidelines will have an effect on the moviegoing experience. The staff at Bengie's is taking precautions to keep moviegoers safe. Employees will have their temperature taken before they start work and will wear masks and gloves.

“We’ll be limiting our capacity,” said Adam, “People will be parking in between two spaces, instead of right next to each pole. It’s going to be in between two spaces so effectively limiting us to about half capacity.”

There will also be a minimum requirement of at least two people per car, no pets, no playground area and only two people from any vehicle can go to the snack bar at any given time.

Hand sanitizing stations and social distancing lines will also be in place to help insure the customers’ safety.

“We’re working with the health department to make sure that we’re doing everything properly,” said Adam, “and we look forward to providing a very safe and fun night out for everyone.”

Moviegoers also will be asked to wear a mask on the entrance road of the drive-in until they park.

Customers also will be asked to keep their masks on should they need to leave their car for the snack bar or restroom.

Yes, the snack bar will be open.

Staff will ask people to stand at least six feet apart while waiting in line at the snack bar or restroom. They also ask that no more than two people from your party at a time go to get food.It will allow staff to keep down the number of people waiting in line and the chance of person to person contact.

Moviegoers might not want to wait until intermission to use the restroom as it will be operating at half capacity.

These are just a few of the new rules but most importantly, if you don't feel well, Bengies staff ask that you stay home and come back another time.

More information on Bengies reopening and COVID-19 restrictions can be found here.