Penn's Prediction About Drive-Ins Looking Positive

Drive-Ins are a perfect solution to many problems. The movie industry's quandary. The kids wanting out of the house. Social distancing pulled off easily. Vinnie Penn said all this weeks ago on his. But, actually saving a business? He didn't predict that one.

Chris Henney, owner of Wethersfield’s River: A Waterfront Restaurant and Bar, is proposing to set up an outdoor theater at the 600-space parking lot he owns near his restaurant at 100 Great Meadow Road in Putnam Park. He also owns the 158,252-square-foot Class A CBS Xerox office building, in which River is a tenant. 

With restaurant revenues down around 98% -- despite offering takeout and curbside pick up -- and most of his office tenants working from home, Henney said he wants to use his parking lot as family entertainment space that would allow people to get out of the house, while still maintaining proper social distance.

He has an application in front of Wethersfield’s planning and zoning commission, which will consider his movie-theater plans during a May 19 meeting.

It’s not clear what type of state restrictions are currently, or might be in place on drive-in theaters. If Henney’s plan is approved, he said he wants to move quickly to open the venue.

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