The deep irony of the latest Christopher Nolan film Tenet is that trying to figure out its 3,000-piece jigsaw puzzle of a plot isn’t the most challenging aspect about it.

That would instead be Nolan's insistence on releasing the film in theaters rather than via video on demand, which inspired debate on when and whether viewers should return to the theater.

That particular debate has reached the local level, with chain theaters open all across Nashville. The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t exactly gone anywhere, yet it feels like the only available way to engage with Nolan’s most recent effort is to step inside a theater and just hope for the best.

If you’ve got a little gas to burn, two of the area’s drive-ins will be making that decision a lot easier if you’re looking for a safer avenue to experience the John David Washington-led spy extravaganza.  

Located off of Highway 100 in Centerville, the Pink Cadillac Drive-In says that it will be opening Nolan’s latest Thursday night and playing it through Labor Day weekend.

Thursday’s opening-night showing is at 7:35 p.m., and the Friday through Monday shows will be coupled with a 10:15 p.m. screening of San Dimas’ favorite sons and their latest adventure, Bill and Ted Face the Music. Station!

The Moonlite Drive-In in Woodbury (outside of Murfreesboro) also says it’ll be playing the film between 7:45 and 8 p.m. this weekend, paired with the ridiculous Russell Crowe exploitation thriller Unhinged on Friday and Saturday. (Tenet runs solo on Sunday.)

When it inevitably does good business this weekend, we could see this being a regular booking for both drive-ins for the foreseeable future.

The ever-popular Stardust Drive-In in Watertown has hinted that it may not get the film, making the Pink Cadillac and the Moonlite the safest place in the area to watch Tenet for now.

Tenet is one of Nolan’s most cerebral films, as confounding as it is scintillating. It’s one of the first studio films in ages where you can safely tell someone that one viewing may not be enough to really soak in or appreciate everything Nolan is doing. Repeat viewings really aren’t ideal for a pandemic and a lack of a VOD option, however. Drive-ins might be the best way right now to crack the code on second and third viewings.

If you’re willing to drive a bit, you can experience the film in the comfort of your own vehicle this weekend. Just be careful about chugging too much water; Tenet’s runtime is a gargantuan 151 minutes.

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