By Peter Tremayne
Cornwall will host one of Britain’s first drive-in cinemas in the Covid-19 era this week, as The Rocky Horror Picture Show comes to a big screen at St Issey, near Padstow.
The Pickwick Inn pub is hosting the film on Friday, in an adjacent meadow, and hoping for good weather.
The idea stems from the government’s relaxation of its lockdown rules, which made drive-in cinemas legal from yesterday (Monday). Drive-in cinemas are rare in the UK, particularly outside summer months.
It is likely to be several more weeks, and possibly months, before the entertainment sector can safely reopen indoors. Cinemas and theatres have been closed since March.
The Pickwick Inn is linking the film to a “fancy dress” invitation, but warning customers they must not leave their cars. Admission is by advance ticket sale only.
The pub says: “This will be a contact-free cinema, we will not ask you to get out of your vehicle and please do not unless you need to use the toilets, are collecting pre-ordered meal deals or buying drinks from the off-licence. Please arrive at your allocated time slot to aid social distancing. Park your vehicle first and then collect any ordered meal deals from the signposted take-away.
“The speakers will be left by the side of your vehicle in a plastic zip lock bag, we will need the speakers put back into these bags at the end of the night and they will be collected.
“If you are bringing your own food and drink, please leave it on the back seats rather than in the boot to save you getting out of your car.
“The toilets will be monitored by a member of staff to ensure social distance rules are met. The toilets will be cleaned regularly, there will also be sanitiser and wipes available so please do wipe them down after using the facilities.
“A strict 2-metre social distance will be adhered to when queuing for either the toilets, food collection or off-licence. At busy times please use common sense and do not put pressure on any of these facilities.
“We really hope you enjoy this experience. We plan to hold more throughout the summer so stay tuned! Please let us know what films you would like to see in the future too. Your cooperation in adhering to all the COVID safe instructions is critical and very much appreciated."