Drive-in Movie Theater Opens in Lorton

Drive-in Movie Theater Opens in Lorton

Workhouse Arts Center opening family-friendly entertainment.

Workhouse Arts Center Lit Arches.

Workhouse Arts Center Lit Arches. Photo courtesy Workhouse Arts Center

Adapting to the special circumstances of COVID-19 with the need for social distancing, the Workhouse Arts Center will be presenting movie entertainment for the whole family. How? With drive-in movies on the Workhouse campus.

The drive-in movies will bring back what was once a staple of summertime entertainment throughout Northern Virginia and the nation. The first weekend will feature “Beetlejuice” on Friday, June 12 and ”Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” on Saturday, June 13.

“Since temporarily closing our ‘actual doors’ to the public in mid-March, the Workhouse staff has explored ways to open ‘virtual doors,’ so that we may still continue to engage with the community and present unique arts experiences,” said Joseph Wallen, Director, Performing Arts, Workhouse Arts Center.

“Our socially distanced drive-in theater will allow families to enjoy some of their favorite films in a new way…a fun experience to enjoy together, while observing current safety guidelines.”

Dale Marhanka, Workhouse Operations Director, said, “Offering a Drive-in Theater at the Workhouse allows us to safely re-engage with our local community and partner with our neighborhood businesses. Creating an opportunity for all of us as a community to also escape from the current stressors in our lives and enjoy a brief respite from the struggles that we all currently share in fighting this pandemic."

Historically, decades ago, there were thousands of drive-in theaters in the United States. Now there are about 500 screens, at 300 locations. Fairfax County Drive-in locations such as the Lee Highway Drive-In located on Lee Highway and Gallows Road gave way to what is now the Mosaic District. The Super 29 on West Ox Road, off Lee Highway (US Route 29) was demolished decades ago.

The Workhouse Arts Center Drive-In aims to create an opportunity to bring families and the community together. Beyond social distancing, other Covid-19 precautions will include: Cars parked in every other space. Restrooms open at rear of building 7 or 8. Only one person permitted in each restroom at any time (unless guest requires assistance from companion). Restrooms will be wiped down at touch points after each guest exits.

“The community can be safe, come together, and have a great time. Community engagement is an essential component of the Workhouse mission; please join us,” said Lura Bovee, Board Secretary of the Workhouse Arts Foundation.