IDAHO FALLS — An Idaho Falls school district has voted to host high school graduation ceremonies at a drive-in movie theater as the coronavirus pandemic keeps school campuses closed.
The District 91 Board of Trustees unanimously approved Wednesday the proposal to graduate the district’s class of 2020 at Motor Vu Drive In theater on North Yellowstone Highway, the Post Register reported.
Idaho Falls High School principal Robert Devine introduced the idea to the district after his wife recently saw a Facebook post about utilizing a drive-in theater for a graduation ceremony in another state.
Each ceremony would start around 9:30 p.m. to allow for adequate darkness to view the outdoor screen, which would feature a cap and gown photo of each student as administrators read student names, district officials said. A livestream would also be available.
“It’s been hard on me having to miss out on things I’ve been looking forward to the past four years,” Idaho Falls senior class president Evelyn Shull said, adding that a completely virtual ceremony would not be fulfilling. “I think this will be more memorable and more exciting than a traditional graduation would be.”
Volstar Productions Inc. was hired to provide video and audio; the Idaho Falls Police Department will provide traffic control and management; and there will be a fireworks display, officials said.
The district’s education foundation is covering the costs of ceremonies for each high school, district communications director Margaret Wimborne said.
“We’re happy to come forward and cover the expenses so schools don’t have to worry about it,” she said.
Graduation tickets will be provided in a bag with students’ cap, gown, tassel and diploma cover, Devine said. There are 460 spots available for vehicles at the drive-in.
As many as 15 volunteers will be used to prepare the drive-in for the ceremonies, and all are expected to adhere to social distancing regulations, Devine said.