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

Published July 29, 2020, 5:03 PM

by Vianca Gamboa

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

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.