Cannes rolls out drive-in cinema with face masks

May 22, 2020

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CANNES: Spectators in their vehicles attend a drive-in movie screening of ET by US director Steven Spielberg in the French Riviera city as part of ‘Cannes Cine-Drive’.—AFP
CANNES: Spectators in their vehicles attend a drive-in movie screening of ET by US director Steven Spielberg in the French Riviera city as part of ‘Cannes Cine-Drive’.—AFP

CANNES: The Riviera resort of Cannes should have been playing host to the world’s biggest names in film. Instead, with its annual film festival postponed and the red carpet rolled up, locals made do with a drive-in cinema in a beachfront car park.

As dusk fell, the audience settled down in their convertible sports cars and family run-arounds, popcorn on the dashboard and children hanging out the windows, to watch Steven Spielberg’s 1980s Classic E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.

With cinemas, theatres and restaurants still closed as France cautiously unwinds its coronavirus lockdown, people were content to watch a movie outdoors on a balmy evening on the Mediterranean coast.

“You’ve got to make the most of the moment. It makes up for things a bit,” said one woman. She had driven to the Palm Beach with her grown-up son, who sat next to her wearing a face mask.

The 51 vehicles allowed to the screening were parked in every other space and staff wearing face-shields scanned barcodes on tickets.

The Cannes Film Festival was originally scheduled to take place from May 12-23. It is not the first time the festival has been postponed. Its inaugural event in 1939 was cut short after the opening screening of the Hunchback of Notre Dame because of Germany’s invasion of Poland the next day.

Published in Dawn, May 22nd, 2020