Loxwood Drive-In Movies 2021 season begins

Loxwood Drive-in Movies return for a second summer with an enticing programme kicking off on July 19.

Tuesday, 13th July 2021, 6:05 am
Maurice Bacon by Joe Denyer
Maurice Bacon by Joe Denyer

Running through to August 1, the films include A Knight’s Tale, Bohemian Rhapsody, Back to the Future, The Rocky Horror Show, Mamma Mia and How to Train your Dragon. But it’s definitely not just a case of more of the same. Organiser Maurice Bacon was delighted with the way things went in Loxwood Drive-In Movies’ extraordinary first summer of 2020. But this year he is determined to offer something extra.

The Rocky Horror Show screening will be an invitation to dress up in the spirit of the film: and Dame Julie Walters, who starred in Mamma Mia alongside Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan and Amanda Seyfried, will attend the screening of the movie on Tuesday, July 27 at 8.30pm when she will chat us through how the films were made.

Maurice said: “We are trying to make things a little bit more interesting than just showing old movies without something else. You need to do more, and we will be lighting up the woodlands this year with different colours as well.”

But in essence, the season will be building on all the successes of last year as Maurice looks to 2021 and beyond: “We wouldn’t have had drive-in movies without the pandemic. We would never have been looking at drive-in movies otherwise. But with the pandemic we weren’t going to be running any of our normal events, and we were just thinking about what we could do. Then I read an article about the resurgence of drive-in movies in America. I thought this is just not something that we do over here, but why not? It felt like something that we could do and I thought that we could do it safely. So we did, and it went well. Hopefully we got it right!”

Maurice had identified two crucial things that would be key to success: “We started a bit after the first two big outdoor cinemas and I could see that there were two big issues, and one of them was just getting onto the site and parking and getting off the site. And the other was food delivery.”

Other operators were used to outdoor cinema as opposed to drive-in cinema and ran into problems. People were also complaining about the length of time they waited for their food to arrive: “We knew that those were two things that we had to get right.”

The season starts on the day that has now been dubbed Freedom Day, but Maurice makes the point that it won’t make a great deal of difference to Loxwood Drive-in Movies either way. If for some reason, Freedom Day doesn’t happen to quite the extent that everyone is hoping, Loxwood Drive-in Movies will simply continue as before: “If anybody is nervous, they will be safe with us. If there are people that feel vulnerable and still feel they need to be careful, they will be in their own little bubbles with their car anyway.

“I am convinced there are still going to be some regulations. July 19 is just a day set by somebody who hasn’t got the gift of actually saying we have got rid of the virus now anyway. But we will be fine whatever happens.”

Cars will be parked at least two metres apart in numbered bays and the food delivery service will enable you to text your order from your vehicle, and a Chevrolette will deliver it straight to your car. Family matinee performances are at 5pm, and the evening showings at 9pm. Gates will open at 3.30pm for the matinee and 7.30pm for the evening film. Tickets must be booked in advance. Tickets for matinee performances are £20 which includes your vehicle plus three people; with tickets for evening performances at £30 to include your vehicle and two people. Additional persons in a vehicle are at £5 for the first additional person and £2.50 after that.

loxwooddriveinmovies.co.uk

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The films are: How To Train Your Dragon (PG), The Lion King (U), Finding Nemo (U), Inside Out (U), Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone (PG), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (PG), The Goonies (12A), Toy Story (PG), The Lego Movie (U), Moana (PG), Cars (PG), Ghostbusters (PG), E.T. (U), Bohemian Rhapsody (12), A Knights Tale (PG), Grease (PG), Back To The Future (PG), Jurassic Park (PG), Mamma Mia! (PG), Rocketman (15), Dirty Dancing (12), The Rocky Horror Picture Show (12A), The Notebook (12A) and Pulp Fiction (18).