Ford-Wyoming Drive-in hit with cease-and-desist by police on reopening night

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click to enlarge Ford-Wyoming Drive-in hit with cease-and-desist by police on reopening night
Austin Evans Eighmey

It's lights out for the Ford-Wyoming Drive-in, which received a cease-and-desist by Dearborn police hours after it reopened Thursday night to screen its signature double features for the first time since closing in mid-March due to the coronavirus.

“During last night’s movies, we were served a cease-and-desist order by law enforcement,” the theater posted on Facebook, adding that they believed they were operating in accordance with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's executive order, which was extended to June 12.

“Given our significant measures of social distancing and facility-wide sanitation, as well as the opening of other drive-ins throughout the state, we believed we could re-open successfully while adhering above and beyond to the federally recommended guidelines,” the post reads. “It appears we were wrong.”

The 70-year-old Dearborn drive-in first revealed its detailed reopening plan in a Facebook post on Sunday.

In addition to heightened sanitation efforts on shared surfaces throughout the facility like the concession stand, box office, and restrooms, Ford-Wyoming said that it would be operating at half-capacity, allowing just 850 cars to occupy its five screens, which would be spaced out one car per two speaker poles. The theater said it would disable the poles, forcing customers to use their car radio to the hear movie audio.

They also stated they would enforce social distancing for patrons entering the concession stand, as well as mandatory face masks, and would have a restroom attendant to sanitize after use. The drive-in also prohibited patrons from watching the movie from outside of their vehicles, something that previously had previously been allowed.

Photos posted to Facebook showed these measures appeared to be put in place. Nevertheless, the company says it will comply with the cease-and-desist order, and plan to open back up next month.

“We sincerely apologize to our drive-in community, all of whom were excited to return to our drive-in,” the post reads. “Our entire staff looked forward to seeing you enjoying the movies at the Ford-Wyoming Drive-In. Know that our number one priority is the well-being of our customers and staff. We anticipate that we will be able to re-open around June 12 barring any additional changes in the stay-at-home orders.”

After 2 1/2 months of remaining closed due to the Governor’s executive orders amidst the coronavirus pandemic, we...

Posted by Ford Wyoming Drive In Theatre on Friday, May 29, 2020

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