The Rise of the Drive In Cinema

It’s safe to say that we’ve had to do summer a little differently in light of current events. With many attractions still closed, festivals and other events cancelled, and our favourite haunts restricted to bookings only and a limited number of visitors, the Covid-19 pandemic has meant we’ve had to think more creatively when it comes to entertaining ourselves and our families over the summer break.

The summer holidays may be over for one year, but the pressure of creating more memories – especially to make up for the time spent indoors during lockdown – is still on. But with the rise of the ‘drive in’, it seems a set of wheels is all you need to discover great entertainment during those weekends and days off.

How the American drive in cinema tradition came to the UK

The drive in cinema or movie theatre has long been an American tradition that’s been looked upon with great nostalgia by us Brits.

Over the pond, drive in cinemas were hugely popular offering an inexpensive and utterly epic movie experience from the comfort of your own car. American movie-going was this way from the dawn of the film industry in the 1930s right up until the 1970s. At the height of their popularity, there were 4,000 drive in cinemas in the USA with drive ins representing one quarter of all movie theatres in the country.

With the rise of home entertainment and indoor cinema experiences however, enthusiasm for the drive in cinema dwindled. The number of drive ins dropped to just 330, but in 2018, drive ins made something of a comeback.

Now two years on and with the Covid-19 pandemic changing life as we know it, drive in cinemas are becoming popular in the UK. The safety offered by the drive in experience means that film titles new and old can be enjoyed on the big screen once again.

How the drive in cinema phenomenon drives the film industry forward

Drive in cinemas are no longer seen as old fashioned. In fact, they’re revolutionising the way we watch the latest movie releases and enjoy the films of yesteryear.

The gap in the market was seen by a number of companies, with ventures like Luna Cinema, The Drive In and At the Drive In providing open air experiences to the masses. Many of these are hosted in the most fabulous green spaces, including within the grounds of the UK’s most prestigious stately homes.

As well as being able to enjoy state of the art sound and screens, drive in cinemas have made social distancing possible to ensure a safer, socially spacious experience. All bookings are assigned a socially distanced pitch. Here they can park up and guests can either watch the movie from their vehicle or exit their car and sit in the pre-laid out chairs within their designated pitch.

Most organisers provide toilet facilities, which are also social distanced with individual units spaced a minimum of two metres apart. Hand sanitiser is also available throughout the site, and facilities are cleaned and sanitised on a regular basis. Refreshments are available at events to complete your drive in cinema experience.

If you don’t have a car, some organisers are selling parking bays to pedestrians and cyclists to ensure everyone can enjoy the drive in cinema experience.

The UK’s drive in revolution

It’s not just movie-going that’s being transformed by the drive in post-lockdown. Thanks to the social distancing measures being introduced and upheld by organisers, drive ins are now hosting a number of Covid secure events.

West End musicals, theatre shows, silent discos, games, family entertainment, stand-up comedy and singalongs are all being hosted via drive ins. Miss going out on the town? Whilst nightclubs remain closed and this year’s festival season was cancelled, drive in raves provide an experience that goes above and beyond that of your average club setting. Most drive in raves feature lasers, fireworks, light shows, LED walls and pyrotechnics.

Drive in restaurants (also known as drive throughs) are also busy feeding the nation safely and conveniently, whilst farm shops and other independent stores are providing drive in routes to allow people to pick up the freshest local produce from the comfort of their cars. There’s officially a drive in experience for everyone!

Hire and drive in for the ultimate cinema experience

Whether you don’t own your own vehicle or your current vehicle is a little cramped, hiring a vehicle to treat your family to the ultimate drive in experience is a must.

At Collison Vehicle Rental, you can hire a bigger family car with ease and even take people within your support bubble along for the ride too. Alternatively, upgrade by hiring a luxury car so you can arrive in style and enjoy complete comfort at the drive in.

Just booked a drive in event or thinking of treating the family? Hire a bigger or more luxurious vehicle for the occasion by contacting Collison Vehicle Rental today. Alternatively, please request a quick quote online or fill in this form to receive a callback from a member of our friendly and helpful team.