The latest option for the class of 2020: Drive-in graduations

Paul Kurtz
May 27, 2020 - 6:42 pm

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio)  The 2020 graduation season is here and it's unlike anything we’ve ever experienced. With social distancing still the norm, some schools are holding virtual ceremonies while others are doing it drive-in movie style.  

Roger Lewis, owner of a drive-in movie rental company in Marlton, was already having trouble keeping up with demand for his outdoor theater screens when calls began pouring in from middle schools and high schools throughout the region.

“We’ve got a ton scheduled for June. Our first is scheduled for June 3 in Schuylkill Haven in Schuylkill County,” he said. 

He’s amazed at how quickly the drive-in concept has evolved.

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“They started doing parades through all the schools, ending up at the high school where the screen was set up. Then they started streaming where we would not only do a drive-in but stream it as well on the internet, on a Facebook page,” he added. 

The ceremony often ends with a drive-thru diploma pick-up, a sad reminder of the extraordinary event that led to this impersonal type of hand-off.

“The diploma is put on a desk, or a table in front. They literally drive up, just grab it off the table and keep going. There’s nobody there to hand them the diplomas, they just grab them when they drive out,” Lewis said.