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Walmart to open drive-in theaters — in its store parking lots

Walmart is getting into the movie business — sort of.

The retail giant is partnering with Tribeca Enterprises to temporarily turn 160 of its U.S. store parking lots into contact-free drive-in movie theaters as the COVID-19 pandemic put many vacation plans on hold. The company is also launching a virtual summer camp.

Beginning in August and running through October, Walmart will roll out the drive-in experience in towns across the country for a combined 320 showings. The offerings will be family-friendly and include hit movies, special appearances from filmmakers and celebrities along with concessions delivered right to customer vehicles. 

“Drive-Ins have been a signature program for Tribeca since we started the Tribeca Film Festival 19 years ago after 9/11,” said Jane Rosenthal, CEO, and co-founder of Tribeca Enterprises and Tribeca Film Festival. "But now, the Tribeca Drive-In is much more than a fun, retro way to see movies — it’s one of the safest ways for communities to gather. We are thrilled to partner with Walmart to bring more people together around the shared cinematic experiences that Tribeca is known for."

In addition to the national tour that starts in August, Walmart is also partnering with the Tribeca Drive-in to serve as a presenting partner for its Tribeca Drive-In movie series, which begins this Thursday, July 2. Throughout July, families in Arlington, Texas; Pasadena, California; Nassau County, New York; and Orchard Beach in the Bronx, New York will be treated to Tribeca Drive-In screenings of modern classics and family favorites, with a mix of ticketed and free events honoring frontline workers. 

Walmart is also launching a virtual summer camp. Starting July 8, families can access 50 Camp by Walmart activities for free by visiting the Walmart app.  Celebrity and expert-led camp sessions will roll out across the summer, including a morning kick-off with “head camp counselor, actor Neil Patrick Harris, who sends families through one of 14 camp challenges.

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