Entertainment

From Drive-In Theatres To Drive-In Drag Shows, The Coronavirus Is Forcing Us To Rethink Entertainment

Let’s face it: Coronavirus fatigue has definitely set in by now. We’re all looking for new ways to pass the time amid a global pandemic, while still remaining safe and responsible. Apparently Netflix and chill just isn’t cutting it any more.

But now is not the time to throw caution to the wind and start going out to bars and restaurants, even if our elected leaders are failing us by encouraging us to do just that.

Instead, grab your quarantine buddies/partners/kids/familia and hit a local drive-in theatre that has instituted Covid-19 measures. From New York to LA and everywhere in between, there are hundreds of drive-in entertainment venues that have popped up amid the pandemic.

Drive-in movie theaters are making a comeback thanks to Coronavirus.

Credit: Marco Delgado / Getty Images

Fueled by the need to socially distance and the collective nostalgia for happier times, the comfort food of show business is providing a much-welcome way to consume live entertainment.

Outdoor drive-in theatres (among other forms of shows) have been popping up all over the U.S. – and world. In the era of Covid-19, many are clamoring for some form of entertainment and the drive-in theatre seems to be filling that need.

Local small business owners who have been forced to shut down operations to comply with Covid-19-related social distancing mandates have been reopening old drive-ins or building make-shift theaters in parking lots and showing old movies to customers to make up for lost income.

A giant drive-in theatre has popped up in the parking lot of a Queens, NY diner.

Credit: Jerome Strauss / Getty Images

New York’s Bel Aire Diner launched its drive-in theatre in May and it continues to sell out every night within minutes.

“The first time we put tickets up, which was for The Sandlot, tickets sold out in three minutes and there was over 500 attempts in those three minutes to buy tickets online,” Dellaportas told CNN Business on Friday.

Dellaportas said the Bel-Aire drive-in has become so popular, it’s allowed him to re-hire staff members he furloughed in March after government officials enacted shelter-in-place orders that decimated foot traffic at restaurants throughout New York City.

“Yesterday’s show sold out in under a minute, it was 815 spots,” he added.

In Miami, Carflix Cinemas sees shows sell out in minutes.

Credit: carflix_cinema / Instagram

Carflix Cinemas, which has its own 36 foot LED movie screen, partnered with an indoor amusement park to set up the massive drive-in theatre in the parking lot.

“As soon as the whole pandemic news started, we started trying to figure out what the future holds for us,” Bernal told CNN Business on Friday. “As we saw business declining, we started coming up with more ideas to generate revenue. This was one of the ideas presented by our staff, so we pursued it.”

The theatre is showing the original Jurassic Park and Sonic The Hedgehog to sold out crowds on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The parking lot they use fits 175 cars and customers desperate to get out of the house are buying up $30 tickets within hours of going on sale.

Meanwhile, in Mexico City, tickets to the Coyote AutoCinema are being resold for double their original cost.

Credit: omgitsjustintime / Instagram

Mexico City has long been home to the AutoCinema Coyote – it’s a perfect date spot perfectly modeled after 1950s Americana kitsch. Like it legit serves up hamburgers, hotdogs, milkshakes and curly fries. But it too had to shutdown thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic.

However, it reopened on June 3rd with special social-distancing measures in place. If you leave your car for any reason, you must wear a mask and capacity is limited to just 30%.

Also in Mexico, an Acapulco hotel announced that it would soon be home to the country’s largest drive-in theatre – with capacity for 300 cars. They’ll be hosting nightly events and will also screen a local film festival in the coming weeks.

And it’s not just movies – drag shows are also going drive-in.

Credit: Dreamland Theatre Las Vegas

Fierce favorites from RuPaul’s Drag Race, including Yvie Oddly, Aquaria, Asia O’Hara, Acid Betty, Gigi Goode, Monet X’ Change, Kameron Michaels, Kim Chi, Naomi Smalls, Plastique, Vanessa Vanjie and Violet Chachki—will be performing an outdoor summer concert called “Drive ‘N Drag.”

In cities from New York and LA to Chicago and Seattle, RuPaul’s Drag Race is bringing socially-distanced drag to the masses.

Apart from RuPaul alum, several drag communities are hosting their own drive-in drag shows: there’s “Drive-In Drag Show And Dinner Theatre” across the West Coast and “Drag Drive-In” in Nashville.

Even if they’re popular right now, don’t plan on drive-in shows to stick around for too long.

Credit: transitdrivein / Instagram

Although the drive-in seems to have made a come back and it’s proving successful, many owners say they’re not turning much of a profit. Operating a drive-in is expensive: permits, movie licensing, staffing. Therefore, many operators say they don’t see drive-ins being a long-term viable option, mainly because the Hollywood studios don’t care for them.

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Peru’s President Survives Impeachment Over Handling Of Coronavirus But What Happens Next?

Things That Matter

Peru’s President Survives Impeachment Over Handling Of Coronavirus But What Happens Next?

Chris Bouroncle / Getty Images

Earlier this month, Peru’s Congress moved to initiate impeachment proceedings against the country’s president over his alleged involvement with a singer involved in a fraud case. However, Peru’s struggle to contain the Coroanvirus outbreak also became a focal point of the impeachment proceedings.

Although, President Martín Vizcarra survived the impeachment vote this week, his country is still spiraling out of control in terms of the Covid-19 pandemic. Peru now has one of the world’s highest mortality rates, made worse by political strife and Peruvians are wondering where the country goes next amid all the turmoil.

Peru’s President survived his impeachment trial but he still faces serious hurdles in the road ahead.

What started out as an alleged fraud and corruption case, devolved into a sort of referendum on Vizcarra’s handling of the country’s failed Coronavirus response. The Coronavirus tragedy has fueled political insurrection. On Sept. 18, an opportunistic legislature tried to oust the president, who has been dogged by accusations of misusing public funds and then covering up the scandal.

However, the revolt fell flat. Just 32 lawmakers voted to remove Vizcarra, glaringly short of the 87-vote impeachment threshold, which is a good thing. Regime change on top of a public health hecatomb might have pushed the afflicted nation that much closer to collapse.

The decision came after long hours of debate in which legislators blasted Vizcarra but also questioned whether a rushed impeachment process would only create more turmoil in the middle of a health and economic crisis.

“It’s not the moment to proceed with an impeachment which would add even more problems to the tragedy we are living,” lawmaker Francisco Sagasti said.

The original impeachment case stemmed from his alleged involvement with a singer who faced serious charges of fraud.

President Vizcarra faced the challenge to his leadership after the Congress approved a motion to start impeachment proceedings against him over leaked audio tapes and alleged ties to a singer involved in a fraud case.

Lawmakers in Peru’s Congress, a mosaic of parties from the left and right with no overall majority, heard recordings of two private conversations between Vizcarra and government officials about meetings with Richard Cisneros, a little-known singer.

Vizcarra told reporters that the new challenge represented “a plot to destabilise the government.” “I am not going to resign,” he said. “I have a commitment to Peru and I will fulfill it until the last day of my mandate.”

Presidential elections are due to be held next year and Vizcarra has already said he will not run again.

But given Peru’s failed Covid-19 response, the president also faces serious doubts in his abilities to bring the country back from the brink.

Latin America has been devastated by the pandemic and it’s only been exacerbated by the total obliteration of growing wealth across the region – as millions are left out of work. The pandemic has largely undone decades of hard work that helped pull millions of Latin Americans out of poverty.

And Peru once the showpiece of Latin American economies — growing at a pacesetting 6.1% a year between 2002 and 2013 and lifting 6.4 million out of poverty — the country saw gross domestic product fall 30% in the second quarter, and is likely to finish the year aound 17% poorer before rebounding next year, according to Bloomberg Economics. Despite generous aid to the poor and strict social distancing rules that drew international praise, the Andean country has been burdened by the pandemic with one of the world’s highest mortality rates.

The possibility of a president being impeached amid the pandemic, had many in the U.S. wondering if we could do the same.

In the U.S., Donald Trump has left much of the country to fend for itself as the pandemic ravages state after state. There has been little in the way of a national plan for how to overcome the outbreak. In fact, many lies about the virus, treatment, and contagion have come directly from the president himself.

He’s even instructed the CDC to stop sharing pandemic-related information with the public, and instead to send all data directly to the White House.

Donald Trump and his administration have sowed division and false information that has resulted in the deaths of more than 200,000 Americans and months of on and off again quarantine orders that seem to have no end in sight. With policies like this, it’s no surprise that some are seriously considering a second impeachment trial.

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You Can Order A ‘Taco Vacuna’ And ‘La Cura’ At This Covid 19-Themed Taqueria

Culture

You Can Order A ‘Taco Vacuna’ And ‘La Cura’ At This Covid 19-Themed Taqueria

Tacovid: SaborViral / Facebook

Pandemia. Brote. Vacuna. La Peste. Although you may find these terms in a glossary about the Covid-19 outbreak, that’s not what these words actually refer to. Instead, they’re options on the menu at a Mexican taqueria called “Tacovid: Sabor Viral”, a perhaps surprisingly very successful Coronavirus-themed restaurant.

Although to many having a Covid-themed taqueria may seem morbid or disrespectful or perhaps gross – I mean who wants to order a plague taco? – the taqueria is making light of a very serious situation with humor. Something that several other businesses have done since the pandemic began.

”Tacovid: Sabor Viral” is the Mexican taqueria going viral – pun intended – for its Covid-themed menu.

Ok…virus-themed tacos don’t exactly sound appetizing. Especially, as we’re still in the midst of a very real pandemic. But one 23-year-old man in the Mexican city of León, who was forced to close down his dance studio because of Coronavirus, is counting on a Covid-themed restaurant – and so far he’s been surprised by its success.

Brandon Velázquez converted his dance academy into a taquería at the end of July, and given that Mexico and the rest of the world was – and is – in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic decided to call it Tacovid Sabor Viral.

“I had to close my dance academy during the pandemic [but] then an opportunity arose to return to the same place, however, people still did not go out for fear of getting infected.” he told the newspaper El Universal.

“I had always wanted to open a taqueria and, at the end of July, the opportunity to do so occurred. It was how I took advantage of the moment to create this business with a coronavirus theme,” he added.

Items on the menu are named after – you guessed it – the Coronavirus and don’t sound like anything you’d willfully choose to order.

The young entrepreneur detailed the name of each dish, taking full advantage of the Coronavirus theme.

“We have around 12 different dishes, among them are the ‘Tacovid’; we have ‘Forty’, ‘Quesanitizing’, ‘Pandemic’, ‘Outbreak’, and many others. The price varies depending on the dish you order,” he told El Universal.

In addition to themed dishes, the servers also fit the Coronavirus-theme.

When the pandemic hit Mexico, the government urged Mexicans to observe “su sana distancia” and the now common mascot – Susana Distancia – was born.

“In the restaurant, a waitress dressed as a nurse with the name of ‘Susana’ takes orders and works the tables, referring to the healthy distance campaign that was implemented as a precautionary measure,” he says.

To his surprise – and honestly mine as well – the taqueria has been very successful.

Brandon told El Universal that he’s been pleasantly surprised by the support he has received from customers. “I’m surprised because we have had really good sales, despite the circumstances, we have had a lot of support by the community and we’ve already expanded to have two locations.”

“Customers are funny about the theme we are using in the business, and they are delighted with the dishes we are offering. They enjoy it and have a good time,” added Brandon.

Things are looking so good for Brandon and his Covid-themed taqueria, that he’s looking to expand the food business and add new dishes to the menu. “There is always the idea of new names for other dishes that we want to include in the menu.”

Brandon also said that he’s looking to build out a business model so the restaurant could expand to other parts of the country as a franchise.

Apparently, people are really into Covid-themed foods, as this isn’t the first place that a shop as cashed in on the pandemic. Back in April, a panadería was selling out of Covid-themed baked goods so quickly, they couldn’t keep the shelves stocked.

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