Drive-in cinemas have experienced a resurgence where ever they still exist in the world thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Before the coronavirus hit, there weren’t any in the Philippines. But in order to adapt to the times, SM Cinemas has decided to put up the Philippine’s first at SM Pampanga.
When we first learned of it a few weeks ago, there wasn't a lot of information to go on, nor any images as to what it would look like. On July 31, the drive-in cinema became fully operational, and it seems to have been very popular based on the number of cars in these photos. Expect that more people will flock to the drive-in cinema in Pampanga as the hype around it continues to grow.
Held at the SM Pampanga Ampitheather, guest can park their cars and watch movies outdoors from the comfort and safety of their cars. The movie that they showed was Train to Busan 2: Peninsula. For a full contactless service, tickets will not be sold at the venue. Instead, SM Cinemas will only be selling them online. Each ticket costs Php 400 per person and already includes a Snack Time bundle consisting of bottled water, regular-sized popcorn, and beef franks. A maximum of four people are allowed inside each vehicle. In compliance with rules set by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), only individuals between 21 and 59 will be admitted.
Given the number of people across Luzon that has flocked to SM Pampanga to catch a movie, including some from NCR, could it give rise to more drive-in cinemas across the country? Considering that the pandemic won’t be ending soon and a vaccine is still months away, it is a very likely possibility. Many malls in the provinces feature large open-space parking areas which could be used as venues for drive-in cinemas. It will certainly help take the public’s mind away from all the negativity going on, even if for a few hours.
What about in Metro Manila? Well, for starters there isn’t a lot of space to hold drive-in cinemas anywhere apart from those in SM Mall of Asia and the surrounding area with large open-air venues. But more importantly, the NCR along with the provinces that make up "Mega Manila" have been placed under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) again until August 18.
Last we checked, however, Pampanga wasn't included in the new MECQ list. So perhaps the drive in will still be operational.