Coronavirus News: Queens diner starts make-shift drive-in theater to drum up business

ByJosh Einiger and Eyewitness News via WABC logo
Thursday, May 14, 2020
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Josh Einiger reports on a restaurant in Queens that has adapted its business by turning its parking lot into a movie theater.

ASTORIA, Queens (WABC) -- A restaurant in Queens has adapted its business by turning its parking lot into a drive-in movie theater.

It's the ultimate small business riddle: How do you fill your restaurant when you can't let anyone in?

The Dellaportis family adapted big time after Gov. Andrew Cuomo allowed the drive-in theater, a relic of yesteryear, that is also a socially distant activity.

So at Astoria's Bel Aire Diner, they transformed their parking lot into a movie theater. On Wednesday, there were two showings of "Dirty Dancing" with a side of dinner.

"It's a great idea and I really thank them so much because it gave us something to do," one patron said.

There is growing evidence to justify the snail's pace of progress in reopening New York, when compared to the rest of the country.

There is word that some states that moved more quickly are already paying a steep price. An internal White house document shows cases spiking from Nashville to Des Moines.

But back at the make-shift drive-in in Astoria, all they wanted to do was set their worries aside and try to survive in an uneasy time.


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