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Wednesday, May 13, 2020


Article by Billy Suter of the SoSuterBill website

The drive-in theatre concept is being reconsidered as a means to allow safe entertainment in these times of the Coronavirus pandemic.

KwaZulu-Natal is at the forefront of a new entertainment concept which, in the uncertain times of the Coronavirus pandemic, is looking to revise the old drive-in theatre concept to offer away-from-home entertainment from the safety of one’s car.

The plan, as soon as the government gives the nod for a suitable relaxing of restrictions, is for Parkflix Drive-in Entertainment to be launched by the organisers of the Splashy Fen Music Festival, whose new entertainment concept promises to allow fans to enjoy live music, movies, comedy and more all from the safety of their cars.

Three locations in Hillcrest, Durban and Umhlanga have been earmarked for the shows and will ensure that attendees can enjoy different forms of entertainment through the safe and compliant staging of movies, music and other varying productions.

“Right now there is a need for innovative and creative thinking in our industry; and we’ve been working around the clock to create feasible new outlets for fans, artists and workers within the entertainment field,” says Stu Berry of Impi Concept Events.

“We are extremely excited to be launching Parkflix, in association with Splashy Fen, and working closely with government to get the concept up and running as soon as we can.”

The venues will also provide options to church groups and other functions such as educational productions, weddings and even funerals; offering a solution in a period where uncertainty lies ahead on when we will all be able to gather again without social distancing measures.

“As a company, we have worked hard over the years to secure our place as the foremost live outdoor entertainment providers in KZN. This allows us to provide three separate venues to existing and new fans in order to meet everyone’s entertainment needs in the best way we possibly can under the current conditions.”

Depending on the venue, up to 250 vehicles be accommodated at a time; with attendees arriving in their cars and tuning in via their FM radio sets. The concept ticks all the boxes in terms of safety, as entertainment is displayed on the large screens, giving attendees no reason to leave the car – other than to visit the bathroom.

“We have already met with government and are all aligned in terms of this new potential offering. Together, we are all very excited to launch this as a concept that meets all of the requirements and regulations pertaining to each of the Lockdown Level’s being implemented,” adds Berry.

“While it’s impossible to set firm launch dates just yet, we are excited to be working closely with government departments to make it happen. We share a common goal of bringing entertainment to the people of Ethekwini as soon as possible.

“Studies have shown that during this time, people are missing that sense of community that they would usually get from social gatherings such as concert and church services. Parkflix will open up the opportunity to create safe spaces, offering attendees a form of community that is very low risk – lower than the risk people are currently taking in going to shop for groceries.”

Watch this space!

PS: It has been reported by Time Out in the US that, according to Comscore, out of 306 drive-in theatres in America, only about 50 are currently open. A newly announced partnership between Tribeca Enterprises, IMAX and AT&T is hoping to increase that number through a summer programme that will play a curated selection of films and special events at drive-in theatres and other venues all around the countru, reports Time Out. The initiative, dubbed Tribeca Drive-In, will launch on June 25, the report adds. – Billy Suter,