The Freedom Drive-In is a new Carrollton business who is facing the challenges of opening during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite opening during a pandemic, many UWG students as well as Carrollton locals have enjoyed the Drive-In Experience.
“I’ve had such a good time going to the Drive-In with my friends,” said UWG student, Grace Besau. “I even went with my best friend and her dog to their Pet Night a few weeks ago. The Freedom Drive-In has been such a good business to add to the Carrollton community, especially now during this difficult time.”
Many families and students at UWG have been trying to find ways to get out of their houses while also finding ways to stay safe. The Freedom Drive-In has allowed the Carrollton community to do this in the comfort of their cars. Customers of the Drive-In have the opportunity to order food from their car and have the staff deliver it to them. Each car has its designated parking spot as well, where families and visitors can walk about to stretch their legs. Despite this success, creating such a lively business during a pandemic was no easy task for the owner of Freedom Drive-In, Patrick Thompson.
“Materialistic things were very hard to get,” said Patrick. “We had started this thing [The Freedom Drive-In] in May of 2020. I created a Facebook page and people loved the idea of it due to the pandemic. We had over three thousand likes in a few days. That kind of gave us the push that we needed. We saw that the Carrollton community really wanted this and we really wanted to give it to them. It’s definitely been a journey and it has been very tough, but it has all been worth it.”
Patrick Thompson is a Carrollton Police Officer, who has a DJ Entertainment Business on the side. When COVID-19 affected Georgia, he decided to make his entertainment background into something bigger. Thompson shared that he essentially did not know how to manage or own a drive-in. It was a big learning experience for Thompson and his staff. A lot of research went into how big the screen needed to be and how to get the rights to the movies that were being shown.
“I definitely think, especially in the times that we are in right now when things are so uncertain, a drive-In is a great option to get out of the house,” said Thompson. “You can social distance and be safe. It’s outside—you have plenty of space to walk around and get fresh air, and we even have headphones that you can rent during the movie if you don’t want to be in your car. It’s a way to be safe and enjoy a movie with the people you love.”