Open-Air Movies

'Demand is huge': EU citizens, who have had their fill of boxset binges, are flocking to open-air cinemas as lockdown eases.

In early May, OGN Daily reported that the Czech citizens in Prague were enthusiastically turning up to pop-up drive-in movies, safely distanced within their cars. Now, it seems, the same enthusiasm is happily spreading across Europe as restrictions lift, at new venues and long established ones too.

This week in Spain, the Autocine Madrid Race drive-in welcomed 200 customers back on Wednesday night with a screening of John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John’s appropriately escapist and nostalgic paean to 1950s high school life. Surely, the perfect drive-in movie!

In normal times, the outdoor cinema screens films for 1,500 people at a time, but its co-founder, Cristina Porta, isn’t complaining. “It’s been very, very good this week and we’ve have a very warm welcome back,” she said. “Our customers were mad keen to get back and the demand has been huge. Drive-in cinemas are kind of made for life in the time of this virus.”

“People are thrilled and are saying they want to spend the whole summer here,” Porta told The Guardian. “If you’re in Madrid, it’s a bit like going to the beach.”

As countries begin to venture out from lockdown, people no longer have to survive on boxset binges, and have a new way to fulfill their movie needs as they emerge, blinking, into the daylight. Or, rather, the twilight.

Open-air cinemas in Spain, Germany, the Czech Republic and Greece have re-opened in recent days, albeit at reduced capacity and with the novel strictures of physical distancing. Open-air cinemas will begin reopening across Germany on Friday evening, and indoor cinemas are expected to get the go-ahead from July.