Ocala Drive-in only U.S. theater showing new movies

Published: Apr. 22, 2020 at 6:01 PM EDT
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There's only one theater in America showing newly released movies right now and it's right here in North Central Florida.

Thousands of theaters across the country have closed due to the coronavirus but at the Ocala Drive-in, they're not letting this COVID-19 pandemic get them down.

They're one of the few movie theaters still open.

"Born and raised in the theater industry. My family goes back 107 years. Never thought we'd see the day where I was the only one operating in the entire state,” Owner of the Ocala Drive-in, John Watzke said.

Outside of Florida, Watzke has the only theater in the country playing first-run movies, like 'Trolls World Tour'.

He's also working with smaller productions to bring their new releases to Marion County as well.

"Some of the major film companies have held up the major releases, so I'm working with some of the smaller filming companies getting some new releases from them,” he added.

But he's had to make several changes to the business to keep his employees and patrons safe - including putting more space in between cars and changing how food is handled at the concession stand.

"It's really nice to see the families getting out here and they feel normal, and that's the thing, to me mental stability is just as important as physical stability,” Watzke said.

For it's latest release, the theater will have a free showing on Friday, April 24, and Saturday, April 25 featuring Louisiana producer Jack Hunter's debut film 'Horror Nights.'