Drive-in theater plans for St. Pete cleaned up in post-Covid era • St Pete Catalyst
A drive-in theater that would be created with shipping containers is no longer being considered for the Warehouse Arts District.
The California-based Rooftop Cinema Club planned to build a drive-in theater with a 64-foot projection screen at 2100 3rd Ave. South. It was due to open this year; however, the change in consumer behavior in a post-Covid world led to the decision to press the pause button.
âWith people returning to in-person events in cities across the country, our drive-in program is suffering. Although this great American institution saved our business last year, things have changed dramatically this year in terms of popularity and we have been forced to shut down most of our sites and unfortunately we don’t think that’s a sustainable business for the future, âRooftop CEO Gerry Cottle said in a letter to planners.
“With that in mind, the Rooftop Cinema Club has decided not to go ahead with plans for a pop-up drive-in in St. Petersburg, as discussed with Place Projects.”
During the pandemic, the Rooftop Cinema Club opened “pop-up” drive-ins, as a safe and socially distant form of public entertainment – in many American cities, many on underused rooftops.
The company had a pop-up at Armature Works in Tampa, which closed after two months in late 2020.
The temporary parking site in St. Pete was to have concessions provided by a local supplier, a potential bar, restrooms and an observation area that could accommodate more than 150 vehicles.
Six months ago, the Rooftop Cinema was given the green light to move forward with the plans despite the debate over how the proposed temporary drive-in cinema should or should not suffer the same infrastructure requirements. than a permanent development.
In his letter to planners, Cottle said Rooftop will continue to consider possible ways to use the property in ways that benefit the community, throughout the zoning process.
Joe Furst, the founder of Place Projects, works with Cottle.