Necessity and nostalgia drive alumni to serve communities
Instead of the old-time ice cream truck music that was once familiar in suburban neighborhoods, Scott Spears (Comm’06) is using Instagram to give his Front Range neighbors the scoop on where to find the Scrumptious ice cream truck on hot summer days.
The truck, which is associated with the ice cream and candy store Scrumptious and was mainly used for private events and festivals in the past, can be found at Arvada neighborhood parks each Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Spears, who also owns the Olde Town Arvada restaurants So Rad and Schoolhouse Kitchen and Libations, and the retail stores Sock and Super Zoom Bang Bang, has poured his creative energy into each business.
“I have a really big need to create––I always need to be doing something else, some new project,” he says.
As COVID-19 has forced many businesses to rethink their models, Spears has leaned into this natural creativity. In addition to redeploying the ice cream truck, he’s adjusted how he operates the Schoolhouse Kitchen, including offering virtual whiskey classes and curbside “Street Drinks.”
Alumni on separate sides of the country––Tom Garfinkel (Comm’91) in Miami, and Robin Beeck (Comm ‘88) and her sister Kathy Beeck (Eng,PolSci’86) in Boulder––were early adopters of what’s turned into a summer craze of pop-up drive-in theaters.
Garfinkel, Vice Chairman and CEO of the Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium, came up with the idea as a way to help the community and bring people together while staying in accordance with social distance policies.
Two outdoor theaters are in operation at Hard Rock Stadium this summer: an open-air theater where viewers spread out in lounge furniture and a drive-up theater where cars park on the floor of the stadium.
“We have a place in society to try and impact people’s lives as positively as we can,” says Garfinkel, who is using this time of crisis as a way to tap into creative resources to bring the community together following the Dolphins’ 2020 mantra: prepared, creative, united.
In addition to providing entertainment for the community, proceeds from the outdoor theater support the Miami Dolphins Foundation Food Relief Program, which supplies a minimum of 1,000 meals each weekday out of Hard Rock Stadium to those who are food insecure.
On weekends, the Dolphins work with area churches, local leadership and community groups to purchase food from local restaurants to provide another minimum of 1,000 meals. The program also generates jobs and revenue for the local restaurant industry, while employing guest services and security staff at the stadium who have been idle as a result of COVID-19-related event cancellations.
The drive-up theater ran through mid-August and the open-air theater has the potential to operate throughout the rest of the year. See their website for shows and tickets.
While COVID-19 created challenges for BIFF, the founders were able to pivot and use the moment as an opportunity for the community to come together and enjoy films in a socially distant drive-in theater at Boulder Municipal Airport.
The BIFF drive-in also features live music an hour before the film starts to support local artists. Tickets go on sale every Friday at noon for the next week’s drive-in often selling out that same day.
“My sister Robin and I loved the drive-in growing up in Boulder,” Kathy Beeck says. “We spent a lot of time at the Holiday Twin Drive-In back in the day. So many people have good memories from the Drive-In––it's so nostalgic.”