Drive-in theaters and the pandemic

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Drive-in theaters are not a British thing. No miracle that most car cinemas were never well attend. So far! The pandemic has changed its position Enormous

The culture has been struggling with the new media in recent years. Due to Corona and the lockdown, the situation has worsened again.

Neither musicians could do their concert or other artists like comedians or circus could present their shows. For one industry the pandemic turns out to has something good. The drive -in cinemas.

Invented in America almost 90 years ago, it has lost its shine and effect in the last years. But now it can help to rescue the culture sector. Thanks to drive in cinemas people could enjoy movies which would have aired in cinemas or shows from artists since early summer again. Can drive in cinemas be the future of culture and entertainment?


drive-in cinemas were very popular this summer, as cinemas and theaters were closed. Photo by Joan on Unsplash,

Surly drive-in cinemas are a good and especially a safe way to enjoy a movie or show during lockdown. What are the advantages and disadvantages?

One advantage is that you don’t have to sit next to somebody annoying who might ruin the movie for you. Couples can cuddle without stares from others.

Furthermore, you can talk and crunch as much as you want. The atmosphere is different and maybe more exciting than in a normal cinema. Extremely in lockdown it nice to see a lot of different people having fun together and it can also be a chance to be “together” with your friends and watch a nice movie or enjoy a show.

One problem that cities and underaged people can have is that you need a car for the drive-in cinema. In huge cities like London people are not likely to have a car, as you are faster with the Underground.

Underaged people will have problems to find a driver as it is forbidden to meet somebody outside your household indoors. Another disadvantage is the bad screening quality in summer.


In order to enjoy a movie or show in a driven theatre you need a car. This is a problem in big cities as people mostly go by tube and save money by not having a car. Credit: Ella Pellegrini on Unsplash,

Can the drive- in theatre and cinemas safe the culture sector?

This hard to tell. These kinds of theatres can help artists to be on stage and earn money. But it doesn’t help theaters or cinemas as the need costumers to earn money in order to survive.

Are drive- in cinemas a good alternative?

This is question that everybody has to answer for themselves. It’s a good opportunity to have some normality, see people and to have fun.

Especially for people who like concert and listen to music its now the only option. Nevertheless, it is different from traditional cinema and it can not compete with the atmosphere of a cinema, theatre or circus.


instead of being tightly squeezed distance is the motto, which is given in drive-in theaters and cinemas. Credit:Carlos Gil on Unsplash,

how does the future look?

Through the corona crisis the demand of drive- in cinemas has increased. According an article by Variety there used to be three drive in cinemas in the UK. Today there are 40.  As nobody knows when we will get normality back, drive in cinemas will keep on playing a big role for the culture industry.

can cinemas and theaters been replaced by the drive-in alternative ? Photo by Kilyan Sockalingum on Unsplash,



source: Variety, “U.K.Drive-Ins boom in pandemic era with 40 new cinemas (exclusive),

Words: Lara Bonczek 









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