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Vietnam's 1st drive-in theater thrills movie buffs

By Tam Giao   July 7, 2021 | 05:00 am PT
With many cinemas across Vietnam shutting down amid the Covid-19 pandemic, a drive-in theater in the northern Quang Ninh Province is offering locals a new movie experience.

The country's first drive-in theater opened in Ha Long Town in April, and has caught the attention of the online community.

For VND50,000 ($2.17), car owners can watch a movie on a giant screen and tune their car radios to a frequency provided by the cinema to hear the audio.

Modern cars do not require their engines to idle during the movie while old ones would not have to spend much on gasoline to have the engine on for around two hours, the cinema management said.

The drive-in movie theater in Ha Long can welcome up to 180 cars. Photo courtesy of the movie.

The drive-in movie theater in Ha Long can accommodate 180 cars. Photo courtesy of the movie producers.

The theater, which has a capacity of 180 cars, has screened a lot of Hollywood movies in the last few months, attracting moviegoers.

According to its owner, sometimes they get up to 100 cars, but in the last few weeks the number has decreased due to the resurgence of the pandemic.

Nguyen Minh, a journalist writing about the film industry, said drive-in theaters can make money in small cities and towns where there is enough space to build them.

Movie lovers are excited about the new cinema, saying it helps them watch movies without flouting Covid-19 prevention rules.

Some also like the idea that they can talk freely in their car while watching a movie without disturbing others.

Nguyen Hong Lan, a Hanoi student, said: "This is the only movie theater that is allowed to open amid the pandemic. I will definitely go to Ha Long this summer and [go to it].

Theaters have been having a tough time due to the pandemic. A letter the owners of four cinema chains wrote to Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh in May said if the situation persists they face bankruptcy, which could even affect the future of the country’s film industry.

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