Marcus Theatres has added a drive-in movie theatre to its Twin Creek Cinema in Bellevue, Nebraska. Strong Technical Services worked with Marcus to develop the concept. Additional locations are under consideration.
As movie lovers cope with the challenges of quarantining, entrepreneurs around the world have experimented with an almost endless number of variations of drive-in and pop-up theatres. No one knows if this is a trend that will sustain itself or a fad that will fade away once the pandemic has ended. But I thought it would make sense to get some perspective about what’s involved in that kind of business from the people at Cinemobiel in Belgium, a group of friends who, for the past 20 years, have been presenting movies from a fire truck in towns all across their country. Which is why I spoke, via email, with Simon Verschelde, Cinemobiel’s only fulltime employee.
Golden Age Cinemas’ drive-in theatre in McHenry, Illinois will reopen for business May 8 and May 9. The first features planned are the animated film The Flintstones, followed by the action-adventure picture Jurassic Park. But, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the theatre will be operating under guidelines from the state’s Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
The trade organization Cinema Technology Community has released a comprehensive guide to drive-in movie screenings. The guide is in direct response to resurgence in drive-in screenings around the world as the cinema industry seeks to provide the big screen experience to movie-goers while adhering to government guidelines which have forced the closure of cinemas globally and the requirement for social distancing.
Filmweb, Nordisk Film Kino and Odeon Kino have collaborated with Telenor Arena and Rema 1000 to create Norway's newest indoor drive-in cinema at Fornebu. Beginning April 7 audiences are welcomed to four daily performances for seven days through April 14.
Even though it has space for 350 cars and covers 25,000 square meters and is very near to Madrid’s central Paseo de la Castellana, Autocine Madrid Race is now Spain's largest drive-in theatre with a screen that measures 250 square meters. With a bar and food trucks reminiscent of U.S. drive-ins from the 1950s, Autocine Madrid Race opened in February – perhaps appropriately – with a screening of the musical Grease.
Fresh Air Flicks founder/owner Glen Sanders spotted the trend of outdoor cinema early on as it gained traction in Brooklyn and other communities. Starting out in 2004, Sanders and Fresh Air Flicks were providing giant inflatable screens for events like Movies with a View that would bring as many as 8,000 people out for an evening to watch films in the park beneath the Brooklyn Bridge.
Thanks, in part, to digital cinema technology, drive-in theatres are on the rise. According to the United Drive-in Theatre Owners Association, as of this month there are 324 drive-in theatres in the United States, 299 of which are digital, with a total of 595 screens. Though the numbers will likely never be as high as they were in the 1950s when the nation had more than four thousand drive-ins, the association says the drive-in business seems to be on an upswing. Coyote Theatres is a case in point
The oldest drive-in movie theatre in the United States Shankweiler’s Drive-In Theatre in Pennsylvania, has selected GDC Technology’s SX-2000AR server with Barco’s DP2K-32B projector and Ballantyne Strong for its digital conversion.
Christie Digital Systems has announced a wide range of technology that it plans to showcase at this year’s ShowEast. The demonstrations will include Christie and Dolby 4K laser projection and audio technology, Christie’s prototype 4K-laser projector fronted by a RealD XL Cinema System and accompanied by Christie Vive Audio speakers and amplifiers configured for Dolby Atmos.