Starlite Drive-In among businesses not yet cleared to reopen next week

Published: May. 15, 2020 at 7:45 PM CDT
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For people in Wichita wanting to go out to see a movie, the wait continues for at least two more weeks. Thursday, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly announced a transition into

of the gradual plan to reopen the state's economy.

Movie theaters are among businesses that have to wait at least two more weeks from Monday (May 18) before reopening. Friday, Eyewitness News confirmed this isn't limited to indoor theaters.

Wichita's Starlite Drive-In also has to wait, being lumped in with the indoor movie theaters.

"We'd like to be open. We have a lot of people with cabin fever that would like to at least be entertained and stay in their car, and it should be a safe way to stay entertained," Starlite owner Blake Smith says.

Smith is in Tulsa where another one of his drive-in theaters can open. He says there are some changes with that, though. He says they're only offering a single feature instead of two to keep lines from forming at restrooms during intermission. There are also no concessions.

"We are set up in a way at the Starlite we could do social distancing and open the concession stand and it be awfully safe," Smith says. "Easily as safe as any restaurants that are open."

Smith says he just wants to return some sense of normalcy to people in Wichita. For now, he says, the Starlite is trying to get a clearer answer from the governor's office on reopening.

"It's kind of a fine line we are walking here to reopen, but at the same time, be safe," Smith says.