Blurb from the author: Drive-in cinemas are something I've only seen in films. Cozy pictures of couples cuddling on the roof of their car with snacks and drinks to take away. The only downside to visiting an actual drive-in cinema is that I can't help but be a little off and think about the traffic jam if everyone wants to leave in the end.
The smell of popcorn past the many "coming soon" posters on the walls and the big screen that flashes in front of your eyes.
Many of us have missed the cinema experience in cinemas across MCO.
This is why the idea for the M-Junction Drive-In Cinema (M-Junction) was born, one of the first drive-in cinemas in Malaysia that we see in the modern age.
We thank Arvin Randahwa, CEO of TwoSpicy Entertainment, and his friend.
The TwoSpicy team / Photo credit: TwoSpicy Entertainment
"A chance contact between me and my friend from MD Events Asia gave birth to this idea," Arvin told Vulcan Post.
“He had the equipment and knowledge in audiovisual systems and my team and I had the experience and knowledge to develop this product. That is why we decided to work together to achieve this. "
Background information about TwoSpicy Entertainment includes some of Malaysia's exciting and unique experiences such as "Dinner In The Sky Malaysia", "Airplane In The City", "Le Petit Chef", "The Biggest Maze In Malaysia" and so on.
"The drive-in is therefore a perfect match for our corporate vision and our existing follower database," added Arvin.
Airplane in the City, 2018 and Dinner in the Sky, 2017 / Photo Credit: TwoSpicy Entertainment
By now you have probably heard of it and searched for more details on where, when or how this event will take place.
We are personally hungry for more information and have managed to extract from Arvin what the M-Junction drive-in cinema will look like at launch.
1. It will be located in the Malaysia Tourism Center (MATIC)..
Malaysia Tourism Center (MATIC) / Photo credit: TwoSpicy Entertainment
The Malaysia Tourism Center (MATIC) is located in Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, and you may have passed it countless times on your way to the KLCC.
"We chose MATIC because it is in the heart of the city and because their vision matches us to promote domestic tourism in the current business climate where international tourists are not allowed to enter the country," said Arvin.
As in other overseas drive-in cinemas, the film hall will be located in the MATIC parking lot.
2. There is a maximum of 50 cars per session.
To ensure that the quality of the experience is not compromised, M-Junction only allows up to 50 cars per screening with a maximum capacity of 2 people in one car.
Publisher's Note: We previously wrote that only 30 cars are allowed, but have since updated it to 50 cars to reflect accuracy.
A couple in their car in a drive-in theater in Korea / Photo credit: AFP
This is because those in the back seats cannot see the screen.
M-Junction also adheres strictly to the government-determined drive-in cinema SOPs that were announced last Friday.
Therefore, there will be a distance between cars, with ticketing, orders and payments being contactless and cashless.
The movement of people on the ground is also controlled, and employees wear masks at all times.
Daily temperature checks for employees and guests are also performed regularly to prevent cluster infections from occurring unexpectedly.
3. Reserved and whoever comes first grows "seats".
Realistically, I think this experience mimics the search for a good parking space when you visit the mall for a movie screening.
M-Junction offers 2 ticket levels, which differ in terms of rows and package deals.
"The first row is reserved for sponsors and higher ticket categories, while seats for general admission are allocated first," said Arvin.
Snacks are included in the ticket packages, but there are also opportunities to buy groceries on site.
When asked about ticket prices and whether they are calculated per person or per car, Arvin declined to answer and wanted to keep this message secret until the ticket launch date, which is provisionally set for July 20, 2020.
4. A large LED screen and Bluetooth audio for your viewing pleasure.
One thing that will be interesting to me is how the audiovisual quality of a film works for an outdoor environment, since indoor cinemas have ways to calibrate their speakers so that each seat basically gets the same experience.
Arvin told us that M-Junction's films would be streamed on a large LED screen with audio streamed through a mix of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology.
Setting up the large LED screen / Photo credit: M-Junction
The exact details of how this will all be done will also not be released until they start selling their tickets.
5. There will be a good mix of movie choices, just like a regular old cinema.
M-Junction shows a collection of classics and current publications as well as local and international films.
While he wanted to keep his lips tightly closed, he was ready to share at least as much with us: "There will be something big and scary, a long, long time ago."
This strain is aimed at its target audience of urbanites, interstate travelers, students, young adults and small families, of whom they have a waiting list of more than 13,000 people.
Arvin also mentioned that in order to obtain the rights to view these films, they had to apply for numerous applications and licenses from various departments.
"It was a very interesting learning experience for us, from getting the screening rights to talking to the local police," he said.
6. Shows are postponed for unpredictable weather.
Unpredictable weather is a curse for drive-in theaters, but M-Junction is ready to tackle it with a mix of technology and traditional methods.
In the event of thunderstorms, the film screenings are delayed or postponed until a certain time.
In order to combat our typical humidity in Malaysia, the team is working on environmentally conscious cooling to reduce the CO2 emissions for the participants.
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Overall, M-Junction plans to expand its drive-in cinema to other locations and has already been approached for the launch in other locations.
It will undoubtedly be exciting for Malaysians who are experiencing this for the first time.
With the pandemic not over yet, gathering people in one place for a few hours may sound like a bad idea.
However, if everyone stays in their socially distant cars with masks on, this should be much safer than the gap from a seat in movie theaters.
Bottom line: Since M-Junction plans to do this in the long term (as opposed to a one-off event), I would personally like to experience this at least once. Although I would definitely wait for the hype to subside.
- More information on other Malaysian startups can be found here.
Selected image source: AP