Since 1 July, cinemas were allowed to resume their operations and moviegoers thronged the cinemas gradually, as they took their time to adjust to the new-norm and be comfortable with going back into cinema halls. Meanwhile, a new cinema experience arrived in Malaysia, aptly called Drive-In Cinema, to give movie-goers another option to watch movies, this time from the comfort of their vehicles.
Since 17 July, with a new set of SOPs in place, Malaysians were able to experience the Drive-In Cinema concept across Klang Valley and Perak to date.
One of the operators is Cine-Drive, organised by DeRomp Marketing. They are scheduled to officially launch their Drive-In today, 18 September, which will be done by Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin (Deputy Minister of Communication and Multimedia).
Public screenings will commence on 19 September and will operate at the Dataran carpark located at One Utama New Wing.
According to DeRomp Marketing's CEO William Lim, "We will be screening the most number of movies over 9 days on the largest LED screen for a Drive-In experience - 52 feet high (3 storeys) and audiences will tune in for the audio via their FM frequency in-vehicle player and we have all the relevant permits and the SOPs in place."
When asked what was so different about Cine-Drive, William replied, "Car engines can be turned on without any guilt as we (the organiser) has applied for Carbon Emissions offset – which means we have purchased carbon credits from solar projects to offset your vehicle's emissions."
Cinema Online has partnered with Cine-Drive as its official online media partner for this initiative. Having been in the cinema industry for 22 years, Cinema Online is always open to collaborate with and support other Drive-In operators.
Drive-In Cinema indeed presents a milestone for the cinema industry in Malaysia, but one may question if it complements the current cinema Industry.
Marcel Lariche, MD of Cinema Online - Malaysia's Favourite Movie Site said, "This platform certainly complements the current cinema hall concept as it promotes positive commercial collaboration to work around current COVID-19 challenges.
"We see movie distributors, cinemas and third-party partners coming together to operate such Drive-In Cinema concepts and we believe they will continue to find alternative and innovative ways to lure audiences and movie lovers back to the movies – be it in a hall or otherwise."
From our understanding, this will be the third Drive-In to go live after Casuarina Sini-Drive in Perak and Nescafe M-Junction Drive-In in Kuala Lumpur.
Cine-Drive will also have the largest screen and the first Drive-In with the FM Frequency option for in-car audio.
In addition, the following are other operators that we have come across:
i) Moonlight Drive-In (an initiative between TGV Cinemas and AEON) – Screening times yet to be confirmed.
ii) Drive-In Cinema Malaysia @ Bukit Kiara Equestrian Club – Screening times yet to be confirmed.
iii) StarWayang @ carpark of Stadium Shah Alam – Scheduled to start today, 18 September.
iv) Discovery Park (an intiative by Gamuda Cove and MBO) – Screening times yet to be confirmed.
Cinema Online will continue to update you on a regular basis on the current and future operators and their respective screening schedules.