As the coronavirus pandemic continues to put a strain on film industries across the world, drive-in cinemas have reported a surge in attendance in the U.S., Germany, France, and parts of Asia.
Drive-in cinemas are experiencing a boom not just for films but for church services and concerts.
A drive-in theatre or drive-in cinema is a form of cinema structure consisting of a large outdoor movie screen, a projection booth, a concession stand, and a large parking area for automobiles.
Within this enclosed area, customers can view movies from the privacy and comfort of their cars.
Back here in Nigeria, as the effects of coronavirus pandemic bite harder in Nollywood, a Nigerian filmmaker, Charles Okpaleke, is pioneering the introduction of drive-in cinemas in Abuja and Lagos.
Mr Okpaleke, who bought the rights to ‘Nneka the Pretty Serpent’, ‘Glamour Girls’ and ‘Rattle Snake’, five years after he acquired the rights to ‘Living in Bondage’, said the drive-in cinemas will be launched in Lagos and Abuja.
Sharing the news on Instagram on Tuesday, the filmmaker, revealed that his team is set to present the first-ever Drive-in Concert with a live performance from Styleplus and the best DJs on Friday.
He also revealed that his critically acclaimed movie, ‘Living in Bondage’ sequel will be screened at the drive-in cinema holding at Transcorp Hilton car park, Abuja.
“This Wednesday would mark the beginning of a new dawn! A new experience in the city of Abuja. Get your tickets from Naira box, ensure your fuel tank isn’t on empty and popcorn and drinks available at the venue,” his post read.
He said he is introducing drive-in cinema as a way to keep cinema-goers happy while honouring social distancing guidelines.
Play Network, Okpaleke’s company, has pegged its showing times between 3 pm and 7 pm.
Genesis Cinemas also announced that it is set to commence a drive-in cinema experience.
Airports turn drive-in cinemas
In a related development, as flights have been grounded due to the COVID-19 pandemic, major international airports have converted their hangers and open grounds into drive-in cinemas.
According to euronews.com, about 150 cars showed up to watch an Oscar-winning South Korean drama, ‘Parasite’ on April 29.
The makeshift drive-in cinema is currently sold out for the next couple of days. Organisers plan to show movies from different continents every week until the end of May.
Social distancing measures meant vehicles had to be parked at least two metres apart, with a maximum of two people per vehicle.
Occupants of the cars were under strict instruction to keep their windows shut and to stay in at all times.