A brave new world of socially-distanced cinema begins with a drive-in cinema.
To go forward in a post-lockdown world, it appears as if our first step is to look back. Back to the heydays of American cinema, to balmy summer evenings in the 70s when punters pulled up in their droves to catch films at the local drive-in cinema. Regrettably, the trend never quite took off in the UK, but new social distancing measures are inspiring a comeback, as London’s very own drive-in cinema arrives this summer.
@TheDriveIn promises “a fully loaded drive-in cinema experience” which brings 80s classics and blockbuster hits to your windscreen. The plan is quite simple: you and anyone else in your lockdown bubble pull up in your car, hook up the radio transmission kit to broadcast the sound through your car stereo, and then kick back and watch the action unfold on the big screen. Cars will be spaced two metres apart to observe social distancing measures, and @TheDriveIn are promising other, as-yet-unspecified measures to keep everything above board in a time of pandemic.
The films have been revealed today, and Grease, Back To The Future, Joker, Toy Story, Lion King and A Star Is Born are all on the roster. Each film will also be preceded by suitably madcap entertainment, whether that be stand-up comedy, bingo sessions, or a silent disco in your car. You’ll also be able to order drinks and snacks through a mobile app, with roller waiters dropping orders off next to your cars (a laudable commitment to having literally everyone on wheels). Oh, and to recognise the sterling efforts of NHS staff, they’ll be keeping ten free spaces reserved at each event just for healthcare workers – you can enter the ballot for those here.
@TheDriveIn will be touring the UK from July 2 to September 20, with each city – including the likes of Manchester, Birmingham, and Glasgow – getting six screenings. London, obviously being the most important of the bunch, is getting two separate dates: the inaugural showings in south London from July 2-7 (which has already sold out in quick time, although more tickets are coming), and the swansong in east London from September 17-20. With everything from family-friendly afternoon sessions to late-night screenings available, they’re offering something for everyone. Start your engines!
Tickets have just been released, and you can get your hands on them here.
Also published on Medium.