HUDSON — The Richey Orchestra is betting the concept of being entertained from the seat of your car still has some appeal, though it isn’t movies the group will be staging this fall. It’s concerts.
The idea is a response to concerns about COVID-19 and to assure those concerned about attending public gatherings, like those concerts ordinarily held by the Orchestra at indoor venues like the River Ridge Performing Arts Center and Spartan Manor in New Port Richey. The drive-in events will be held outdoors on the grounds of Hudson First United Methodist Church, 13123 U.S. 19 in Hudson.
Just like at the drive-ins of days gone by, concertgoers can tune in to listen in their cars via vehicle radios. People also can bring chairs if they would rather sit outside their cars. Organizers are promising plenty of open, fresh air and room for social distancing. And yes, there will be a snack bar with drinks and munchies.
Tickets are $15 per person or $35 per car (three or more adults). Children 16 and younger are free if accompanied by an adult.
Denise Isaacson, president of the Richey Orchestra, estimates that the 14-acre site can accommodate up to 250 cars, but she recommends people buy tickets early to ensure they get a spot by visiting www.richeycommunityorchestra.com, calling 727-919-3866 or stopping by the box office at 6827 Amberjack Lane in Hudson. The first concert of the series will be a Halloween Spooktacular on Oct. 25. It will be followed by Legends and Superstars on Nov. 15 and Sounds of the Holidays on Dec. 13.
COVID-19 caused the cancellation of the April 19 Roaring 20s concert and anyone holding a ticket for that event can use it for any of the fall drive-in concerts. Gift certificates also will be honored.
The orchestra features 50 musicians, who are gearing up now for what’s being called a “fun, fright-filled afternoon of spine-tingling chills and musical thrills” for the Oct. 25 show. The concert will feature creepy classics like the “Danse Macabre” and the “Funeral March of a Marionette” to movie favorites like “The Phantom of the Opera” and “Pirates of the Caribbean.”
“We have a great orchestra that’s been around a long time and it’s not all classical music,” said Isaacson. “We play pop and music people will recognize from Broadway and the movies — popular music people know.”
Pent-up desire for the kinds of entertainment missing since the start of the pandemic is clear by the response the group has received so far, she said.
“People are loving the idea and we’ve had a great response,” said Isaacson. “Ticket sales are coming in and people are excited to have events like this again.”