Saudi drive-in theatre brings back movie enjoyment amid pandemic

Saudi Arabia is opening a new drive-in theatre that will allow movie-goers to enjoy a top-notch cinematic experience during the COVID-19 pandemic from the safety of their own cars.
Monday 01/02/2021
Drive-in cinema in Riyadh. (Twitter)
Drive-in cinema in Riyadh. (Twitter)

RIYADH--Saudi Arabia is opening a new drive-in theatre that will allow movie-goers to enjoy a top-notch cinematic experience during the COVID-19 pandemic from the safety of their own cars.

“Flash of Riyadh,”  as the cinema is called, will make room for over 150 cars to pull up for viewings of acclaimed Arab and international movies. Movie-watchers will tune in to a designated radio station to hear the movies’ sound effects, and can order concessions from food trucks to be delivered to their vehicles. The event will ensure the necessary health protocol is observed, including social distancing, mask-wearing and temperature checks.

“Honestly, the experience of the drive-in cinema is great,” one attendee told Reuters through an interpreter. “I never expected that it would be like what I’m seeing. It’s the first time we see drive-in cinemas in Saudi Arabia, and all I can say is, bravo.”

The venue can accommodate up to 150 vehicles .(platiniumlist.net)
The venue can accommodate up to 150 vehicles .(platiniumlist.net)

Saudi Arabia has sought to provide innovative entertainment options for its citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic, during which many prominent festivals and events have been suspended or restricted.

Drive-in theatres have also opened in other Middle East cities such as Beirut and Abu Dhabi, and are widely seen as a welcome throw-back entertainment option for people burdened by months-long health restrictions.

Saudi Arabia has largely managed to curb its COVID-19 outbreak at home, tracking less than 200 new cases per day in recent weeks, according to official data. Overall, the kingdom has recorded 366,000 coronavirus cases and 6,338 deaths.