Your Local Drive-In May Not Be Able To Show ‘Tenet’, After All

If your plan was to hit up a drive-in to see Christopher Nolan’s Tenet in relative safety, you might want to double-check with the theater first. While the vast majority of movie theaters reopened nationwide last weekend, there are many cities that are still being hit hard by COVID-19, such as New York, Los Angeles, and yes, Washington, DC. They have yet to allow for theaters to reopen, and Warner Bros. has distinct ideas whether those cities will be allowed to show Tenet in any form, including drive-ins. The answer is simple: they can’t.

With Tenet due to open on September 3rd, Warner Bros. has made clear its intentions towards the movie’s release. Their guidelines are that Tenet can only play at outdoor drive-in theaters in markets where indoor theaters have reopened.¬† For example, we here in Virginia can also see Tenet at the drive-in Showplace Icon Theater in Tysons Corner because¬† indoor theaters, such as AMC Tysons Corner, are open.

Months of haggling about Tenet‘s release date have led to this, and it appears WB is steadfat in sticking to the September release. When it comes to the coronavirus, however, things seem to change on a daily basis. We might see more markets open up, and the studio could always change their mind and allow Tenet to be shown outdoors regardless of circumstances. The movie’s plot twists being leaked is a concern, however. That’s something they’ll have to deal with when international markets start showing the film tomorrow, as well. [Variety]


Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.