With the world still far from flattening the curve, many public facilities still remain closed and shut down as governments are still enforcing social distancing and a stay-at-home lifestyle. As a result, a lot of industries have been slammed down and some on the verge of closing down due to the lack of revenue since they are unable to operate. Previously, we’ve discussed in another article of ours (“COVID-19: Crucial Impact for The Film Industry”) that one of the industries with the most significant impact is the film industry. That much is true as the film industry has been hit hard by the pandemic since they are forced to stop from their usual schedule. Many movies have been pushed back since studios are unable to resume film production as usual. Some of the movies that were highly anticipated were hit blockbusters such as Marvel’s Black Widow, A Quiet Place Part 2, Mulan, No Time to Die, and many more. Film production for these movies were stopped and had caused a huge reshuffle in the schedule of release dates.

With cinemas and movie theatres shut down too, most of the world has shifted to using the services of entertainment streaming platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, etc. However, the world is constantly adapting itself to revert to how it was before but in a way that is still following government protocols. As a matter of fact, we are reverting way back – even before how things were before COVID-19. The world is going back way to the 1950s – when drive-in cinemas were a thing. Who would’ve thought that we would be hearing the term drive-in cinema in 2020? With everyone still social distancing, drive-in cinemas are making a comeback as technically, it is a way to social distance from others while at the same time, still being able to go to the cinema. It’s like a win-win situation. But what actually are drive-in cinemas?

A drive-in theater or drive-in cinema is a form of cinema structure consisting of a large outdoor movie screen, a projection booth, a concession stand and a large parking area for automobiles. Within this enclosed area, customers can view movies from the privacy and comfort of their cars. Thus, we are still able to practice social distancing while watching a movie. The popularity of drive-in cinemas peaked during late 1950s and early 1960s. There was a reported over 4,000 drive-ins in America during 1958. In Indonesia, the first drive-in cinema that operated was in the 1970s. It was located in Pantai Binaria (now Ancol) and built by a man named Ciputra. His drive-in cinema was the first and largest one in Southeast Asia. However, like many other things from the 1900s, it ceased in popularity as newer and more advanced cinemas started to show up and it could not keep up with the trends. Economically speaking, it became more practical for owners to close down their drive-ins in order to sell their land to developers to build malls or multi-building complexes.

With a deadly virus still running around and infecting people, there has been a high rise in popularity for drive-ins since they are slowly making its comeback and opening around the world – as people are starting to get bored and desperate for some entertainment. In Jakarta, it is reported that there is one in the making and opening soon. Drive-in cinemas are proving popular in a pandemic as people miss being able to watch movies and go to the cinema freely like how things were before. It is important for people to be able to destress in a pandemic – in which everyone has been on high alerts ever since it began. We usually hear stories about drive-in cinemas from our grandparents, but now we can personally experience it too. In a way, these drive-in cinemas have always been a nostalgic icon of the 1900s. In the future, it will continue becoming something nostalgic – not only for the previous generations, but also the generations that lived through a pandemic.


Written By: Aisyah Daniswari

Source: Vice