Drive in and chill out

Living Magazines Drive in open air cinema

If the phrase ‘Drive-In Movie’ conjures up images of a teenage boy in Buddy Holly glasses sliding his arm around his high school sweetheart as a muffled soundtrack blares through the windows of his Buick in small-town America it’s time you embraced the 21st century.

Today’s experience is all about high-quality sound being piped into your car and services being laid on for a proper family fun night out. And given the constraints placed on the entertainment industry by Covid-19, one venue is about to take the car out of the drive-in – well, almost.

In the absence of this year’s Chilfest music festival near Tring in Hertfordshire, the organisers have turned their venue into an open-air cinema, running at weekends through the summer. Moviegoers can take the car along but the viewing area in front of the hi-tech screen is an auto-free zone so picnic blankets are the order of the day.

Audio comes through high-quality headphones to cut out the question of environmental issues and families or permitted groups can take their pick from the wide range of food options at the venue or dig out the picnic baskets and snack their way through a series of Hollywood favourites. You can’t take your own booze, but Complete Licensing’s successful licence application to Dacorum Council means there’s an on-site bar stocking wines, beers and all manner of soft drinks.

Chilfest has built up a reputation for quality service over the past decade and this backs up their organisation of this summer’s movie nights. Government guidance on pandemic restrictions will be in force and audience safety will be the top priority.

So if the weather gods are smiling, the silver screen gods and goddesses will be on show in the Chilterns over the next couple of months.