By Jeff Todd

DENVER (CBS4) – On Wednesday night, a parking lot in the middle of a heavy industrial part of Denver was full of avid outdoors enthusiasts and mountain bikers. The coronavirus pandemic is forcing businesses to look at creative ways to make money and still have an impact and Colorado’s drive-in theatres are providing a perfect platform.

(credit: CBS)

“This is the best place to get people out of their house during a pandemic. Ultimately we’ve been starving for fresh content,” said Eric Henderson with Teton Gravity Research. “The drive-in with the theme of the movie which is really about the connection between biking and our roots to our youth, the drive-in really seemed like the best option.”

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TGR’s new mountain biking film Accomplice was set to debut at festivals around the country. In April, the company started looking at other ways to distribute its content.

“We looked into Zoom calls, to chats, and places we could launch it and it didn’t really work. The drive-in really is the best option,” Henderson said.

(credit: Teton Gravity Research)

The Denver Mart Drive-In has stepped up since the pandemic hit and hosted a wide range of unique events including more than 20 graduations. Capacity has been cut in half and patrons are encouraged to stay inside their cars except to use the bathroom. Face masks are required outside of vehicles.

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“We did an end of year dance recital, a lot of nonprofits, we have Mrs. Colorado and Mrs. Wyoming coming in to do their pageant next weekend,” said Misty Flachman the Denver Mart Drive-In Manager. “They are grateful to have an opportunity to create something new and different in a time when everything else is shut down.”

The movie premiered Wednesday night and will return to the Denver Mart Drive-in on Thursday. Dates are planned later in the month in Aspen, Vail, Buena Vista and Fort Collins.

“Really the drive-in seems to be the solution for fresh content so grab your friends, grab some food, stay in your car, wear your mask and come on out.”

(credit: CBS)

The Denver Mart is now booked through Labor Day, and is selling out three weeks ahead of weekend double features.

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“This has been a great safe opportunity for people to come out and just enjoy time with their families,” Flachman said.

Jeff Todd