Why La La Land will be perfect introduction to the great drive-in movie experience

Director Laurence Hill is promising La La Land as the perfect introduction to the concept of drive-in movies.

Thursday, 25th June 2020, 10:56 am
La La Land
La La Land

It will be his own first experience – and the word experience is key.

“The film is important, but it won’t just be about the film,” he says “It will also be about the fact that we are all gagging to go out.”

It will also be about the novelty of it all as we sit in our cars and stare at a massive outdoor cinema screen.

Laurence is offering the film through his new White°Dot Cinema (whitedotcinema.com) on Saturday, July 11 in a green meadow off The Broyle, one mile north of Ringmer, near Lewes, BN8 5AP.

Gates open at 7.30pm, with the main feature ending by 11pm. Cars costs £30 for two people, with extra passengers £10 each, all watching the biggest screen of its type in the UK, a massive 40ft by 20ft. The sound will be an FM signal broadcast directly to your car radio.

There will be toilets on site; snacks, soft drinks, beer and wine can be delivered direct to your car; and cars will be spaced two metres apart.

And if all goes well, it can be your entertainment every Saturday for the rest of the summer. Laurence is hoping to announce further films soon.

Laurence is delighted to start with La La Land, the smash-hit musical starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone: “It’s a really uplifting, modern, quirky film. It is so great to see the genre revitalised in a way that it relevant for today: “This is a completely new thing for me. In the past I have done music promotion in Brighton and I used to do the Lewes Guitar Festival many years ago.

“But with the current situation everything is on hold. We just don’t know when live music or live anything is going to come back, and so that made me think of drive-in movies. Obviously, if you are in a car, you are automatically separated from other people.

“And I think people are just gagging for entertainment because it is just so much a part of our lifestyle. It gives people such a lot of pleasure and then all of a sudden it was stopped. As we emerge out of lockdown into some kind of semblance of normality, drive-in movies seemed a good idea. We don’t have much of a tradition of them in this country, but because of America, I think they are still in our unconscious register.

“The tickets are moving. It is just really about letting people know, but I have had lots of great feedback. And now I am asking people to suggest other films to show.”

The first event needs to go well: “It is quite a big undertaking, getting all the equipment on the site. To an extent we are making it up as we go along, but the people that are providing the air screen – it’s what they call it – have done lots of drive-ins. They know the score, and I am sure once we have had the first one, we can iron out anything we need to.

“I think we can take up to 500 people. If we get a couple of hundred cars, then I would be delighted. Obviously, we are limited to some degree. I think 500 people and 250 cars would be the optimum.”

A third person in the back of a car would be able to see by sitting in the middle; Laurence suspects four people in a car would be much harder.

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