Sun. Sep 20th, 2020

Drive-ins continue to make a slow comeback in SA

New drive-in concept opens in KZN as South Africans look for ways to see movies within their social bubble.

drive ins continue to make a slow comeback in sa - Drive-ins continue to make a slow comeback in SA

Back in the ‘60s, a South African entertainer named Jeremy Taylor had a hit with a song called Ag Pleez Deddy, in which some laaitjies (kids) from the Southern Suburbs of Johannesburg implore their dad to take them to the drive-in.

Drive-ins were, of course, a hugely popular form of entertainment in South Africa until the advent of television eventually drove them into decline and obscurity.

Pandemic gives drive-ins a new purpose

Now COVID-19 is bringing drive-ins back into favour, albeit perhaps temporarily, as we seek ways to be entertained away from our homes but still within our social bubble.

Cape Town, for example, has the Galileo drive-ins – an adaptation of the popular Galileo Open Air Cinema – operating at various locations around the Cape Peninsula.

88ef7e12 galileo drive in fb - Drive-ins continue to make a slow comeback in SA
Galileo Drive-In Cinema. Photo credit: Galileo Facebook page

Now the good folk of the greater Durban area have their own opportunity to be nagged by their laaitjies to visit the drive-in.

Durban joins the SA drive-in revival

A company called Marriot Parflix, an offshoot of the same company that organises the annual Splashy Fen Music Festival at Underberg in the Drakensberg foothills, is kicking off with an outdoor drive-in at the Suncoast casino and entertainment complex in Durban.

This commences on Thursday 13 August and runs through until 30 August. There will be a variety of movies on offer.

In keeping with the health and social distancing requirement of COVID-19, tickets are only being sold online, masks are compulsory and customers are confined to their vehicle unless heading to the toilet.

COVID-19 restrictions are in place

Patrons who do want a bite to eat while watching a movie can order takeaway from the Suncoast complex. The number of cars is limited to 200 for any one show.

According to the organisers, three locations have been identified in the KZN area – Durban, Umhlanga Rocks and Hillcrest.

In early July, Ster-Kinekor CEO Ryan Williams said drive-ins are a possible option for the cinema chain.      

 “The big challenge, as far as commercial drive-ins in the short-term are concerned, is getting access to content. Many of these big studio productions, with the rise of internet piracy, don’t enjoy those environments for the latest content because there’s potentially too much risk,” he said. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *