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As theater chains welcome back audiences while reopening across L.A. County, studios have not abandoned drive-ins — and they’re even upping the ante of the experience.
The last weekend of March kicked off with a trio of high-profile premieres, with a fan screening of Warner Bros. and Legendary’s Godzilla vs. Kong, the debut of the Bob Odenkirk starrer Nobody on the Universal Pictures backlot (where a slew of performers welcomed cars amid choreographed fight sequences), and an event at the iconic Rose Bowl that saw Amazon Prime Video and Skybound take over a giant lot to debut Robert Kirkman’s animated Invincible on March 26-27.
Upon entry, the socially distant drive-thru experience greeted guests with a smoldering pile of rubble as they heard a newscaster describe deadly attacks and supervillains over respective car radios. At check-in, Global Defense Agency (GDA) vans and accompanying agents distributed top-secret swag bags before sending cars en route to Art’s Tailor Shoppe. There, there was a mini-performance that ended with a pyrotechnics display featuring costumes from Invincible’s heroes. After a quick pit stop to pick up burgers from Burger Mart (a shop featured on the show), guests were then directed to their parking spots where they were treated to DJ beats and a virtual panel discussion featuring the show’s top talent.
Stars including Steven Yeun, J.K. Simmons, Zazie Beetz and Gillian Jacobs appeared virtually in a preshow, as did Kirkman, who introduced his series, telegraphing some of the elements but not spoiling a wet surprise that came during the show when cars were splashed with water disguised as blood at a critical, and jaw-dropping, moment. “This has been a labor of love for myself for almost 20 years,” Kirkman said in his intro. “There’s going to be a lot of cool punching, a lot of cool drama, action and a little bit of romance.”
A version of this story first appeared in the March 31 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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