Since July 13, cinemas have resumed activity with new releases, re-runs of Hollywood blockbusters and Oscar-bait films, as well as exclusive screenings of cult favourites and world cinema. But for some, nothing beats swapping the sub-zero theatres for an alfresco film experience under a blanket of stars.
Despite outdoor screenings such as Peroni Sunset Cinema and Films At The Fort being cancelled due to the pandemic, the city's savvy cinema folk has been exploring various ways to give cinephiles their film fix. Shaw Theatres and The Projector have recently launched their own streaming platforms, and Silent Disco Asia is offering a home package that sets up your very own DIY Silent Cinema in your garden or balcony. But if you're looking to expand your movie-going experience beyond the theatres and living room, perhaps a socially distanced outdoor cinema complete with a colossal screen against a sunset backdrop might entice you.
The popular drive-in movie screening is making a monthly return to Downtown East, setting camp at Begonia open-air carpark. It kicks off on August 8 with the award-winning musical The Greatest Showman. Watch Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron and Zendaya belt out show tunes while telling the story inspired by the Barnum's American Museum and the lives of its star attractions.
Unlike those retro drive-in cinemas of the yesteryears, this one features a cutting-edge screen that spans 12-metres in height and 8-metres in length, as well as a bespoke audio set-up where you can get your own 'surround' sound directly in your car via an FM frequency.
For some movie munch, Ministry of Burgers is dishing out its signature comfort grub at $4.50 a pop, with soft drinks at $1.50. There are also your usual movie snacks such as popcorn ($4.50), nacho and cheese ($4.50), potato wheel cracker ($3), and kacang putih ($2) from Candy House. You don't have to pop out of your ride either – these orders are delivered by Hi-Roller servers on masks, gloves, and roller skates, no less. Talk about old-school.
Entry to the drive-in for each car is $18, and tickets can be purchased online. Each ticket includes free parking, two burgers and two soft drinks. No more than five people are allowed in each car, and cars are allowed to fill the parking lots from 6pm on a first-come-first-served basis. Safety measures such as temperature-taking, SafeEntry log-ins, and parking at alternative lots to maintain safe distancing are to be practised.
As the drive-in is capped to a maximum of forty cars with up to five persons in each vehicle, you'd want to secure your tickets fast to not miss out. The next screenings are on September 12, October 24, and November 21. Follow Downtown East's social media channels including Facebook and Instagram for all the updates.