American mega-retailer Walmart will use its massive physical footprint to create drive-in cinemas across the United States in partnership with Tribeca Enterprises, in a move that charts a way forward for a medium battered by the coronavirus pandemic.

This is according to the Hollywood Reporter, which reports that the retailer will transform 160 of its parking lots into drive-in cinemas in order to help expand Tribeca’s drive-in series that aimed to bring back the collective feeling of the cinema in the socially-distanced era. Screenings will take place in the supermarket sites from August through October, the magazine adds.

“The Tribeca Drive-In is much more than a fun, retro way to see movies — it’s one of the safest ways for communities to gather. We are thrilled to partner with Walmart to bring more people together around the shared cinematic experiences that Tribeca is known for,” said Tribeca Enterprises and Tribeca Film Festival co-founder and CEO Jane Rosenthal in a statement.

Tribeca Drive-In was first announced in early May, a partnership between Tribeca, Imax and AT&T, as a way to bring a series of films, music, and sport to audiences at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

Though just a small indication of a way forward for cinema, which has seen probably the most brutal drop in spend. Year on year, investment in cinema media is expected to fall 31.6%, according to WARC’s latest Global Ad Trends forecast.

Multiple sources point to a deep shift in people’s attitudes, with some 70% of respondents to one survey saying they would be more likely to watch a new release at home. The mid-point between a safe space and a theatre.

Sourced from The Hollywood Reporter, Walmart, Variety, WARC