Home / Tourism / The drive-in cinema is making a comeback, starting July 31.

The drive-in cinema is making a comeback, starting July 31.

Cinephiles, turn up at SM Pampanga this July 31

Illustration by Ariana Maralit

If today’s “new normal” is all about al fresco dining to combat ventilation hazard at restaurants, then recreational facilities don’t need to look any further than the retro ’50s. We’re talking the great outdoors. We’re talking gingham blankets and socially distanced, old-fashioned picnics in sprawling gardens. We’re talking the resurrection of drive-in theaters.

Luckily for us, SM Pampanga Amphitheater will be rolling out the first drive-in theater in contemporary times in the Philippines starting July 31 with the opening of Korean zombie film, Peninsula, the sequel to Train to Busan.

The SM Cinema Drive-In Experience

The Philippines’ FIRST DRIVE-IN CINEMA is finally here!Watch movies at sundown starting July 31, 2020, in SM Pampanga Amphitheater. 🚘Tickets on sale soon!

SM City Pampanga (official) 发布于 2020年7月22日周三

The Drive In: Movies at Sundown is a hip and formal introduction to a safer cinema alternative during the pandemic and will with hope pave the way for more drive-in theaters to open.

To control the traffic of moviegoers, it will only be available every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with two screenings at 5:30 p.m. and 8:20 p.m. Following the measures of Inter-Agency Task Force, the cinema can only accommodate 80-90 enclosed vehicles with a maximum of four persons inside each vehicle.

Each ticket costs P400 per person inclusive of a Snack Time bundle with bottled water, regular-sized popcorn, and beef franks. To maintain a contactless transaction, all tickets should be purchased through http://smtickets.com/sm-drive-in-cinema.

If you’re not convinced about watching movies from the comfort of your car seat, remember that people considered it a safe entertainment venue when congregations were banned during the polio-stricken ’50s. Drive-in theaters were able to withstand the lockdown restrictions and closure of public establishments, but sadly, not the test of time. As the decades post-vaccine had passed, there had been a significant rise of mallrat culture, cable TV, video rentals, and the classic cinema trend had slowly faded into the background.

Drive-in theaters may have grown a 21st-century recognition in the form of theme park setups and throwback events as odes to the things of the past, but the appeal of this trend, we believe, seems more clever (and appropriate) in 2020. Taking in the thrill of the movies as you also watch the sunset, in the privacy of your car? It is a new lifestyle, and we are all for it.

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Local airline launches sweeper flights

SkyJet Airlines collaborates with government offices to mount charity rescue flights for stranded individuals.

Capt. John Jatico and his crew at Davao International Airport

Travel restrictions worldwide generate economic problems or unemployment on a larger scale, all being taken care of as we speak, but in micro cases we see the inconvenience among local and foreign nationals stranded indeterminately. 

Can you imagine the risk of contracting Covid-19 in an unfamiliar place? The anxiety of being away from your family? Five months into quarantine and it’s sad to say there are still many locally stranded individuals (LSIs), mostly displaced workers in Metro Manila.

General Santos City

We need more than ever establishments that are aware of their purpose during the crisis, including domestic airlines shifting responsibilities to provide sweeper flights in efforts to help LSIs. Despite losing big revenues and subsidizing costly operations, one of the few to join the cause is premier boutique airline SkyJet, under the supervision of its chairman, Wilson Tieng. The airline has been working closely with the Office of the President, 250th Presidential Airlift Wing (PAW), OSAP, PMS, and Sen. Bong Go in mounting charity rescue flights for LSIs affected by the nationwide community quarantine. 

LSI passengers returning to Iloilo

Just recently, SkyJet has deployed a 92-seater BAE 146-200 aircraft helmed by the chief pilot Capt. John Jatico and his crew—with Davao, General Santos, and Iloilo City as the main inbound destinations. The first rescue flight to Davao successfully departed on July 18, followed by another roundtrip flight to General Santos and Iloilo on July 19 and July 20, respectively. 

SkyJet charity rescue flight crew at General Santos International Airport

Although SkyJet is looking to resume commercial operations in the next few months, the airline directs its full attention to corporate social responsibility advocacies meant to serve Filipinos and help the government in terms of aircraft provisions under circumstances that concern cross-province and inter-island travel. “While commercial passenger flights are currently halted due to the ongoing travel restrictions, we are steadfast in our commitment of to helping connect our stranded countrymen,” SkyJet Airlines’ commercial head Joseph Edward Alvarico says. He also acknowledged the assistance of Philippine Air Force, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine National Police, Department of Health, DSWD, PMS RFUs 6, 11, and 12, and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines for making the operations possible.