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Saturday, November 28, 2020

Retro revival: The return of the drive-in cinema

The drive-in movie experience will be available in Canberra this weekend, for the first time in decades.

Park-In Pictures launched in Brisbane last month and will make its debut at Majura Park in Canberra on Friday night this week, 19 June.

In collaboration with the Canberra Airport and Screencraft Canberra, the event will hold two movie sessions per night on Fridays and Saturdays.

Canberra Airport head of marketing and communications, Melissa Evans, said the Airport was pleased to be involved in the event which would support local businesses.

“Together we saw a great opportunity to provide fun and entertainment for the community at a time when we are all doing it tough,” she said.

“Movies will be played every Friday and Saturday night for at least six weeks and tickets are on sale now via our Majura Park website.”

Patrons are invited to “enjoy a wonderful and nostalgic experience in the comfort of your car, bring your own snacks or support our food operators that have been doing it tough, and have a safe night out for the family”.

Park-In Pictures’ Steve Gilbert said the idea came off the back of the drive-through hand sanitiser purchasing station he set up during the pandemic.

“We have a few parking locations here in Brisbane and we started to look at ways we could use our sites once they become COVID ghost towns,” he said.

“We created a pop-up drive-through hand sanitiser purchasing station and after that thought about pop-up drive-in movies.

“I was looking around at the fact the cinemas were closed, and people couldn’t go and do things – pretty much no group activity was on the cards.”

The drive-in cinema will hold two sessions each night, with the first having a family-friendly focus.

The event can accommodate up to 120 cars, and guests are able to pre-order food and drinks from the surrounding vendors in Majura Park.

Mr Gilbert said although restrictions were easing and cinemas were looking to re-open, he was still confident the public would be excited to experience the drive-in.  

“I don’t think we need to alter anything in our business model, especially after receiving such positive feedback from the Brisbane event,” he said.

“The feedback we have had has been that they love the old-school drive-in style, and some said they actually prefer it.”

Screencraft Canberra founder Michael Fardell said bringing the drive-in cinema experience to the ACT would be great for the community.

“We love Canberra and our Canberra community, and of course we love film,” he said.  

“To be able to share great films with Canberrans in such a wonderful and fun way as a drive-in is a pleasure for Screencraft.”

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