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Coronavirus Fuels Boom In Drive-In Theaters; Now, Drive-In Standup Comedy Hits Stage On South Coast

As music blares in the background, hundreds of vehicles are pulling into the Ventura County Fairgrounds for an event which would have been unheard of six month ago.  Drive-in movies are making a comeback, due to coronavirus.  But, this is a twist on a traditional drive-in movie.  This is live, drive in standup comedy, featuring some internationally known comedians.

It’s a cold, chilly Friday night, and hundreds of cars, trucks, and SUV’s are spread out around a massive stage set up in the fairgrounds main parking lot. They’re here to see Rob Schneider and David Spade, the former “Saturday Night Live” castmates who had long careers in movies, and TV series.   The vehicles are spread out, so people can set up lawn chairs for the show. 

There are giant video screens, and a sound system like you’d see at a rock concert.  The sound is also being broadcast on the FM radio band, so people watching from their vehicles can listen in using their radios.

People in the audience say they love the idea.  They say they are hungry to get out of the house, and do things which are both fun, and safe.

Even the night’s headliners say it’s an interesting idea.  Rob Schneider says he’s never done anything quite like it, but loved the fact they can do something for people hungry for entertainment.

Schneider takes the stage with his famous movie catch phrase, “You can do it!” which generates a flood of honking horns from the crowd.

By the time David Spade takes the stage, the audience has figured out the way to show its appreciation. Laughs don’t work for the comedians here, because they can’t hear them, but car horns take their place.

Some of those here say they didn’t come specifically for the comedy, but because it’s something to do when most entertainment venues are closed.

The “Concerts In Your Car” series is the creation of CBF Productions, a Ventura based company known for festivals it stages around the state.  CBF CEO and President Vincenzo Giammanco says they’ve been doing concerts, movie screenings, and even a circus using the giant stage at the Ventura County Fairgrounds.  But, they wanted to try comedy.

The idea has caught on so well that the Ventura based company is now doing similar events in other cities.

You can find a link to more "Concerts In Your Car" events here.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral. 
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