COVID-19 ushers in revival for drive-in cinemas
Since Pakistan closed its movie theatres in March to halt the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, Village Restaurant in Karachi has brought back the culture by opening a drive-in cinema in their premises.
The rusting sign surrounded by stars revives memories of the heyday of the drive-ins, when movie-goers would park their cars in front of a huge screen and order drinks and popcorn, BBQ from servers who would come to their car window.
The drive-in cinema is open five days a week – Monday to Friday – from 5pm till 10pm.
So far only classics like Mr. Bean, Charlie Chaplin, The Three Stooges and Laurel & Hardy are available to be projected for a big screen. There are no entry charges.
“With [the rise of] Netflix and streaming services, actually going to a movie becomes much more of an event. The drive-in is definitely one of those things. Actually watching the movie isn’t necessarily what it’s about,” says Arhum Farid a student of Iqra University
“I had never been to a drive-in so it's an opportunity to get out of the routine a bit at this point,” says another student Farid Khan.
People are appreciating the drive-in culture and also want other cinema houses to follow suit. Drive-in movie theaters are seeing a revival in other parts of the world as the leisure industry figures navigate the constraints of the outbreak.