Drive-in cinemas are coming to the UK: When and where you can catch one this summer

·4-min read
Wellfleet, MA, USA July 8, 2009 The Wellfleet Drive In welcomes its guests to their outdoor theater before the start of their feature movie
Wellfleet, MA, USA July 8, 2009 The Wellfleet Drive In welcomes its guests to their outdoor theater before the start of their feature movie

With cinemas closed across the country due to the coronavirus pandemic, plans for drive-in cinema events across the UK have blossomed this summer.

Drive-ins have been a huge part of American culture for decades, with its first opening in New Mexico in 1915. The craze really bloomed after the end of the second world war when the population and car ownership boomed and by 1951 the country had over 4,000 drive-ins.

Informal, family-friendly, and cheap to run, it’s easy to see the appeal of a drive-in. You can drive the whole family to a field and watch a movie projected onto a giant screen while listening to the sound through a speaker hooked onto your open window (you now tune into the audio on your car stereo), and you don’t have to worry about the other audience members behaving themselves.

Read more: Drive-ins primed for a comeback

And now, with coronavirus forcing people to stay 2 metres apart from each other, drive-ins really come into their own. So where can you catch one this summer, and what can you watch?

Here’s everything you need to know about the summer of drive-ins.

The Luna Drive-In Cinema

What: Boasting “state of the art sound and screens, a fantastic selection of food and drink (all with contactless ordering and delivery) and a selection of some of the best films ever made”, Luna Drive-In Cinema is touring around the country this summer.

Where and when:

4-19 July: Allianz Park (Saracens Rugby Club), Hendon, London

7-20 July: Warwick Castle, Warwickshire

6-19 July: Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire

5-19 July: Knebworth House, Hertfordshire

Films include Rocketman, Grease, Joker, Jurassic Park, The Little Mermaid, and The Goonies.


At The Drive In

What: The Drive In is a fully loaded drive in cinema experience that brings a whole host of drive in activities to several cities across the UK. 80's classics and 2010's blockbusters films will be preceded by a range of entertainment that includes stand up comedy, bingo or silent car discos.

Where and when:

6-12 July: South London

15-19 July: Birmingham

22-26 July: Manchester

30 July-2 August: Leeds

5-9 August: Newcastle

12-16 August: Edinburgh

19-23 August: Glasgow

26-30 August: Liverpool

2-6 September: Cardiff

9-13 September: Bristol

16-21 September: East London

24-27 September: Southampton

1-4 October: Brighton

Films include Joker, A Star Is Born, Back To The Future, Toy Story and Jaws.

The Drive-In Club

What: The Drive-In Club is the first and biggest multi-screen, multi-genre, outside entertainment experience to hit the UK.

Where and when: The first venues to be announced are in Brent Cross from 3 July & Dagenham from 9 July (with more locations to be announced), the venues will host everything from live comedy, music, podcasts, Q&A’s & family shows to the latest blockbuster films throughout the day and into the night.

As well as hosting the UK’s first drive-in premiere for Break, a British thriller, starring the late Rutger Hauer in his final film role, on 22 July, other films include Moana, Life of Pi, Zootropolis, Alita: Battle Angel, WALL-E, UP!, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles 2, Inside Out, Captain Marvel, Spider-Man: Far From Home, Wreck-It, Ralph and Big Hero 6. Plus Black Panther, Pulp Fiction, Starship Troopers, Cliffhanger and The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of The Desert.

Alex Zane will be hosting special blockbuster film nights every Monday with films confirmed that include Rocketman, 1917 and Bladerunner 2049.


Drive-In Events

What: Drive In Events is set to offer safe and socially distanced entertainment across the UK – including Edinburgh, Bristol, Glasgow, Leeds, London, Cardiff, Aberdeen, Nottingham, Oxford and Newcastle.

Where: Newcastle airport and Edinburgh zoo are the only confirmed venues so far, with more details coming soon. Films also TBC.


Cinestock UK

What: This claims to be the world’s only indoor drive-in cinema. Films coming this summer remain TBC, but their website says “we’ll have more films than you can shake a TV remote at and there’s going to be something for everyone amongst them.”

Where: South of England Showground, Ardingly, West Sussex.

When: From 4 July to September.


Social Films has also produced the handy chart below which covers any more that we have missed above.

(Social Films)
(Social Films)