Nightflix

UK Government “hasn’t a clue” whether drive-in cinemas can open in Tier 4

Wonder Woman and Love Actually fans would be perfectly safe in their own cars – but the official rules are a confusing, illogical mess When is a cinema not treated as a cinema? When it’s a drive-in, one of few off-shoots of the film industry that has seen a legitimate boom under Covid. Before the pandemic, Britain boasted a mere three drive-in cinemas, two of them in Haywards Heath. Some 40 more opened around the country this summer, giving audiences one of the most socially-distanced entertainment options imaginable. Under Tier…

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Ilford Exchange shopping centre, Essex. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

London shopping centre wants a rooftop outdoor cinema

The Ilford Exchange plans to turn the roof of its car park into an outdoor cinema, according to plans submitted to Redbridge Council. If approved, the cinema, run by Nightflix, will show two films a day every day for the next two and a half years. As well as a screen and space for 200 people, the plans include a bar inside a converted fire engine, a food vendor and 16 portable toilets. In a report submitted to the council, the company said the plans were inspired by a decline…

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Orange Drive-In Theatre, photo: Wikimedia Commons

Pandemic rewinds cinemagoers back to the drive-in

In the early 1930s Richard Hollingshead, a car-parts salesman, had an idea. He’d heard his mother moan about how uncomfortable she found the wooden seats in cinemas. What if she could watch a film from the comfort of her car? To test the concept in his driveway, he put a film projector on the hood of his car, hung a sheet from some trees and invited his neighbours. He patented the idea and in June 1933 opened his first drive-in cinema – he called it a “park-in theatre” – near…

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