WesMer Drive- In Theater movie goers get their snacks at the concession stand on Friday, May ,8, 2020 in Mercedes. The theater, located in Mercedes, is the last drive-in theater in the Rio Grande Valley, and one of the few left in Texas. Photo by Delcia Lopez/The Monitor | dlopez@themonitor.com
Brian Almaraz,10, Charlene, Brianna,12, and Yadira Garcia Almaraz along with Alejandro and Lisbany Almaraz from Mercedes enjoy a movie at the Wes Mer Drive- In Theater on Friday, May ,8, 2020 in Mercedes. Photo by Delcia Lopez/The Monitor | dlopez@themonitor.com
The WesMer Drive-In Theater is a single screen drive-in with a capacity for 400 cars. ‘Trolls World Tour’ was shown on Friday, May ,8, 2020 in Mercedes. Photo by Delcia Lopez/The Monitor | dlopez@themonitor.com
Patrons WesMer Drive-In Theater are greeted with ‘wear a mask’ during the initial first showing on Friday, May ,8, 2020 in Mercedes. The Drive-in theater offering digitally projected movies, concessions & discounted admission on Tuesdays and full price on Friday’s. Photo by Delcia Lopez/The Monitor | dlopez@themonitor.com
Olivia Morrow,5, of Pharr is all smiles during the first showing of ‘Trolls World Tour’ at the WesMer Drive-In Theater on Friday, May ,8, 2020 in Mercedes. Olivia was with her sister Monse and their mother Bertha Gonzalez. Photo by Delcia Lopez/The Monitor | dlopez@themonitor.com
Security guards and parking attendants directed the traffic as it came in, using long PVC pipes with tennis balls on each end to space out the vehicles on Friday, May ,8, 2020 in Mercedes. Photo by Delcia Lopez/The Monitor | dlopez@themonitor.com
Once a nostalgic reminder of a bygone age, drive-ins like WesMer now find themselves in the vanguard of the entertainment industry’s foray into post-coronavirus America. Photo by Delcia Lopez/The Monitor | dlopez@themonitor.com
It opened up in the late 1940s, right at the start of the drive-in theater boom. The popularity of the drive-in spiked after World War II and reached its heyday in the late 1950s to mid-1960s, with some 5,000 theaters across the country. The WesMer Drive-In did close down in the mid-1980s, but reopened 10 years later. Photo by Delcia Lopez/The Monitor | dlopez@themonitor.com
Old movie posters line the small concession stand inside the WesMer Drive-In Theater on Friday, May ,8, 2020 in Mercedes. Social distancing is required inside the area. Photo by Delcia Lopez/The Monitor | dlopez@themonitor.com
COVID-19 Precautionary Guidelines: Maximum of 100 vehicles due to county curfew, no one under 17 allowed without parent or guardian. Face masks required inside buildings, i.e. concession & restrooms .Vehicles parked at least 10 feet apart .Stay within vehicle area and concession area limited to 5 customers at a time.
6 feet social distancing between customers. Photo by Delcia Lopez/The Monitor | dlopez@themonitor.com