One of the things we absolutely missed from before quarantine is hitting the cinemas as soon as a new flick is released. Reliving the experience while ensuring everyone’s safety, SM introduces the first-ever Drive-In Cinema.
When the pandemic caused the entertainment industry to postpone movie releases and temporarily close cinemas, movie lovers spent their time streaming films online. As we slowly swerve to the new normal with most businesses operating under stricter safety protocols, SM Cinema launches the first Drive-In Cinema in the country. The newest out-of-home entertainment will premiere this coming Friday, July 31 at the Ampitheater of SM City Pampanga, which is classified as a Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) area.
While most drive-in theaters are more prevalent in the US when Richard Hollingshead patented this concept back in 1933, Asian countries like Korea and Japan have also began with this kind of movie-screening. However, with the surge in the popularity of cinemas, video renting concepts, and streaming giants, the demand for drive-in theaters steadily declined. In compliance to limited capacities and physical and social distancing, the retro-nostalgic drive-in cinema is back and it’s defining the safe and fun way of watching movie. Earlier this month, Thailand opened its first drive-in cinema with cooling system to beat a hot and stuffy night. In Los Angeles, even RuPaul’s drag race has brought an all-new drag experience into drive-in with Werq The World Drive ‘N Drag.
The SM Cinema Drive-In kicks off with three of highly-anticipated movies such as Sea Monsters on July 31, My Spy on August 1, and the South Korean zombie film sequel, Train 2 Busan: Peninsula, which is selling two million tickets in one week in its country of origin. This outdoor movie experience will be open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, with two screenings per day—first screening at 5:30 PM and second screening at 8:20 PM, where you can secure your assigned parking spot as early as 4:30 PM. As exciting this sounds, make sure to purchase your ticket online in advance. Each ticket costs 400 per person, and it is already consisting of Snack Time bundle—bottled water, regular-sized popcorn, and beef franks.
You can maximize your movie snacks with the food concessionaires available on-site using a menu handed upon entry. Once you’ve decided on your order, you’ll have to raise your flag and wait for an authorized server to collect your orders to lessen the contact. Each vehicle may have a load of 2 to 4 persons inside and to optimize the best viewing experience, a particular parking spot will be assigned depending on the size of the car. SM City Pampanga’s Ampitheater can sit 80-90 vehicles per screening.
For a clearer audio broadcast, movie goers will be instructed to turn on their car’s FM radio to a specific frequency or you may bring your own radio built with FM capabilities. Now that IATF allowed DTI’s proposal to permit gyms, drive-in cinemas, and internet shops to open in GCQ areas, I guess we’re looking forward to more drive-in theaters in Metro Manila and other parts of the country.
Be the first to experience the SM Cinema Drive-In and buy your tickets here.