Couples, families, car enthusiasts enjoy new cinema experience

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    A young couple celebrating their anniversary . . . San Fernando city officials including City Councilor Benedict Jasper “BJ” Lagman and City Tourism Officer Ching Pangilinan . . . members of the Northboys, a sports car enthusiast group . . . movie lovers from Pampanga and nearby provinces.

    All roads led to the SM City Pampanga as film enthusiasts filled its designated parking lot during the premiere launch of SM Cinema’s Drive In at the mall’s Amphitheater. They were all eager to experience of watching movies under the stars from the comfort of their own cars in the new normal.

    “My SM drive-in cinema experience was great,” says Kapampangan beauty queen and broadcast journalist Nicolette Henson-Hizon. “Thank you, SM City Pampanga for giving us a fun and memorable and out-of-home movie experience while ensuring everyone of safety of everyone amidst the pandemic. Kudos for pioneering this in the country, and oh what a trip down memory lane!”

    Bajong Pangilinan of the North Boys a group of sports car enthusiasts whose members include award-winning actor Allen Dizon said that the group “was happy at the good service at the Drive-In movie.

    In a TV interview, Romeo Angeles said he was happy, “it observes social distancing and at the same time, people are entertained”; while another movie lover, Gerald Bucud enthused that, “it’s a great alternative from the usual way of watching movies at the cinema. Instead of going down, you will stay in your car.”

    Young movie enthusiasts drove all the way from Manila for the experience. A young couple celebrating their anniversary said, “It’s a first time in the Philippines so I would like to part of history.” Another said in the same feature that this is “very new, especially for our generation. We came all the way from Metro Manila, and have to get a travel pass.”

    After the screening of “Train to Busan2,” viewers were happy about the experience.

    “Instead of watching Netflix at home, everything should be here,” said one movie lover in a GMA TV interview; while another said that it was a “nice experience. A good alternative for the new normal.”

    The SM Cinema Drive-in is open every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at the SM City Pampanga Amphitheater. Current films showing are “Train 2 Busan: Peninsula” and “My Spy.”

    Entry to the SM Cinema Drive-in starts at 4:30 p.m. There is one movie screening per day and movie starts at 6:45 p.m. All tickets must be purchased online in advance. Each ticket costs P400 per person, and this already includes a Snack Time bundle consisting of bottled water, regular-sized popcorn, and beef franks.

    Food concessions are available on-site. A separate menu is provided upon entering the SM Cinema Drive-in. For additional orders, simply raise your flags and a server will approach your vehicle to take your orders.

    For the best movie-viewing experience, two persons are allowed per vehicle with a maximum of four persons. To optimize the viewing experience for all our guests, each vehicle will be assigned their parking spots upon arrival, depending on the size of their cars. Traffic marshals will assist guests and direct them to their designated spot.

    Once parked, guests will be instructed to turn on their car’s FM radio to a specific frequency to broadcast the sound straight into their vehicles. Guests are also welcome to bring their own radio and other devices with FM capabilities. The venue can accommodate between 80 and 90 vehicles per screening, and individuals aged between 21 and 59 will be admitted in accordance with IATF Guidelines and Safety Protocols.

    For tickets, click https://smtickets.com/sm-drive-in-cinema.