Chester’s Drive In Cinema

Drive-ins are to die for, aren’t they?

Youngsters today (and we’re talking about anybody under forty) probably wouldn’t even know what we were going on about, because in this new age of watching movies on your phone while riding the Tube the concept of the drive-in has gone the way of Sunday Night at the London Palladium.

Back in its heyday, jumping in the car and going to the movies and remaining in the car was as common as 2020 etiquette requiring a text to let someone know your Chip Butty is ready and you didn’t have time to text anyone.

And we don’t care how much access tech provides to our favourite entertainment on a litany of mobile devices. Nothing comes even close to a night at the drive-in.

We have wondrous recollections of sitting in the back seat of dads car, munching away on popcorn with REAL butter while Julie Andrews belted tunes or Sean Connery seduced the pretty gals. It was an adventure. And we weren’t bound by the social manners required when sitting in a crowded theatre. We could ask questions about the movie. Me and sis could bicker until one of our parents got sick of it. Not politely because there were other people around either. (Come to think of it now, they never had to temper their reaction in the car. Mum had no problem reaching in the back to show us a quick lesson in discipline.) The biggest problem at the drive-in was Mum’s disgust with couples in nearby cars taking advantage of the semi-privacy as if there were no other eyes in the vicinity. (Those were shows unto themselves!)

Those were good times. Better days. And our love for those olden times has led us to reinventing the drive-in for a modern audience, to recreate a great experience for a stressful time, when we’re being told to stay away from each other. We decided it was time to give everyone an opportunity to get out and get some fresh air, take in some entertainment, and keep socially distant all at once. Moonlight Drive plans to make movie night fun and affordable and safe for the entire family. Just book your tickets and come on out to one of our upcoming events.

We’d love for everyone to enjoy and discover the drive-in experience. Especially those of you, adults and kids alike, who’s never had the chance to see why we love the drive-in.

Chester's Drive In Cinema - Chester Taxi Services

But it’s never too late, is it?

Storyhouse and Chester Race Company have jumped in the pool and launched a drive-in cinema experience that we promise will bowl over film buffs and newcomers alike. Over the summer, Moonlight Drive will open in venues around the city. The first is planned at Linenhall Car Park.

If you’re anything like us, the impact of COVID on your movie outings has been disheartening, if not downright unholy. Moonlight Drive is prepared to provide film goers a socially distanced and comfortable movie night. Sit in the car, turn on the radio and let the programme begin. Right now on the agenda we have big screen classics ready to reel. Favourites like Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, Mary Poppins, Grease and Sister Act.

The drive-in craze dried up in the 80s and, by the 90s, most drive-ins were merely empty, weed infested lots. Many classic drive-in sites now house strip malls and shopping centers. The populace was too happy to turn their attention to VHS and DVD. We don’t even want to go into the options for watching movies at home in the 21st century. And outside of movies, too many people seem to be far more involved in Jerry Springer.

It makes us sadder than sad…

And despite our love for Killing Eve or Black Mirror, nothing stands up to a big screen outing, especially when you can park and stay there behind the wheel.

“We are delighted to be launching Moonlight Drive, which will alternate across the city with our open-air cinema Moonlight Flicks when that opens on 14 July,” says Storyhouse’s Chief Executive Officer Andrew Bentley of the first collaboration between award-winning Storyhouse and Chester Race Company. “It’s been a race against time to get the film and other licences in place after the government gave approval, these two events will hopefully cheer us all up this summer.”

Trust that when we say there’s nothing like an open-air cinema experience, you can count on an unique and fun time. A massive thirty foot screen. Top of the line film quality. Soundtrack broadcast over a stereo FM radio frequency. (But be sure to remember the quality of sound will be directly affected by the sound system in your vehicle.) Other benefits include cheaper pricing. With a drive-in, you’re charged by the carload or number of passengers, yes, but it still tends to be less than regular per-ticket theater prices. This cheaper pricing can apply to food and snacks as well. Back in the good old days, us kids wore our pyjamas because we were famous for falling asleep during the movie. (And along that line of thinking, it must’ve been a blast for our parents to have a soundless environment for even the briefest moments.)

For everyone who’s looking for a good time, who prefers to not be crowded in (especially during these COVID-flooded times), who’s looking for a night out that’s guaranteed to be memorable, and, yes, for all parents sick of the little ones moaning and groaning about being trapped inside, we urge you come on out to Moonlight Drive for an old-fashioned night at the cinema!

For the first three rows of the show, tickets are going to be £33.50 per car with two passengers. All other costs will be a standard £29.50 for tickets. Screenings will begin at 9:30 p.m. Storyhouse members get 10% off. (You can sign up at Pizza, soda and snacks can be pre-ordered and delivered directly to your car.

Take note that complimentary parking at Linenhall Car Park remains unaffected for the remainder of July, free to the public between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Drive-ins are to die for, aren’t they?

For the record, here’s an important drive-in tip: You may have the best radio in the world with booming speakers, but consider bringing a nice radio. Otherwise, you’ll have to keep starting the engine infrequently to prevent battery drain, or be left to leave the engine on throughout the movie. If you have a jumper kit, bring it with you. Nothing ruins a great evening at the cinema than, after the show, not being able to start the engine.


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