16 June 2020

The drive-in is back for starved movie buffs

| Ian Bushnell
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Drive-in cinema

Nothing like the big screen for a real movie experience. Photo: File.

It’s back to the future at Canberra Airport over the next six weeks with a COVID-19-safe, pop-up drive-in cinema screening classic movies every Friday and Saturday night.

The Airport has teamed up with drive-in outfit Park-In Pictures and Screencraft Canberra to stage the first drive-in movie experience for Canberra in decades at Majura Park, starting this weekend on 19 and 20 June.

Staged on the car park opposite Majura Park Shopping Centre on the corner of Catalina Drive and Wellington Place, the drive-in is a response to the coronavirus restrictions that have closed cinemas and boosted streaming services but left cinephiles and families yearning for that big-screen experience.

Canberra’s last official drive-in, the Starlight, closed in 1993 after entertaining the national capital’s families and young people for 36 years.

The bill for Friday is: 6 pm – Playmobil: The Movie (PG); 8:30 pm – Snatch (MA 15+).

On Saturday: 5:45 pm – Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (PG); 8:15 pm – Blade Runner 2049 (MA 15+).

Head of Marketing and Communications at Canberra Airport Melissa Evans said the three partners saw a great opportunity to provide fun and entertainment for the community at a time when people were all doing it tough.

“Come and 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,” she said.

“You can pre-order food and beverages from a Majura Park retailer each weekend. Screenings this weekend will be complemented by Vietnamese food from Ms Ba Co, with the weeks to come to include Zambrero, Oporto or Subway, and there are many other options in the area for food like McDonald’s.”

All food, snacks and treats will be delivered to a car, fully contactless.

Park-In-Pictures’ Steve Gilbert said the pop-up drive-in can cater for 100 cars and he was excited to bring some joy and positivity to the community in Canberra.

“Canberra is my old hometown, so I am really pleased to bring Park-in-Pictures with top-rating movies, a huge screen, great food and atmosphere to the local community,” Mr Gilbert said.

Screencraft Canberra founder and CEO Michael Fardell said that he was overjoyed to see a drive-in back in Canberra.

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

With the winter solstice this weekend, a good supply of blankets and pillows might be useful, and if you drive a hybrid car that turns itself off, it’s BYO radio to listen to the movie.

More information and tickets can be found on the Majura Park website.

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