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The smell of popcorn, 3D glasses and surround sound are all things we've been missing over the lockdown period.
Going to the cinema is a hobby for many of us and it's been difficult not having the opportunity to see the silver screen recently. Well with lockdown restrictions lifting, you're in luck!
It's time to treat the family with a night out to a cinema like no other. Cinema super fans in Kent will be sad to hear about the closure of an old favourite - the Moonlight Drive In Cinema at Hop Farm, just outside Paddock Wood. But don't worry! We have put together a list of four different outdoor venues for a drive in movie experience near Kent that everyone will enjoy! The Moonlight Cinema will be missed but that doesn't mean the fun has to stop.
Please Note: Each of these drive in cinema locations require a working car radio or portable radio for you to be able to tune in to the right station and hear the movie.
Kent Drive In Cinema
Image © Kent Online
Locations: Ashford Designer Outlet, Betteshanger Park.
For the classic drive-in experience check out the Kent Drive-In Cinema. With two great locations in Kent and a huge range of family friendly showings such as E.T, Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, The Goonies and many more, this will be a fun evening to spend with the whole family under the moonlight.
The Kent Drive-In Cinema is working under social distancing guidelines, however, visitors are permitted to bring chairs and sit outside their cars as long as they are within their designated space.
You are welcome to bring your own snacks but there will also be food vendors at each location. You can order meals using a text message service and there will also be staff walking around the premises selling hot food and drink.
The toilets are fully operational and will be cleaned regularly. Kent Drive-In Cinema asks for those who use it to wear a mask and follow social distancing protocol.
Tickets: £32.93 per car.
Moonbeamers Drive In Cinema
Image © Moonbeamers Drive In Cinema
Location: Barleylands Craft Centre, Barleylands Road.
Spend the evening at the drive in with Moonbeamers. This drive in cinema offers open air showings in the moonlight, outdoor picnic events and even has a hiring service where you can rent out a cinema for a night! There are many different packages for the cinema hire including renting an entire outdoor cinema, an inflatable cinema screen or a back garden viewing set. Any one of these options is sure to make a brilliant evening to enjoy with the whole family.
Some of the outdoor movie showings this summer include Back to The Future, The Italian Job, The Greatest Showman, and Labyrinth.
Moonbeamers Drive In Cinema is operating with social distancing guidelines in place. Visitors are advised to stay inside their vehicle at all times. You are also allowed to bring your dog along, but only if you are sure they won't disturb other people at the venue.
In terms of food and drink, you are welcome to bring your own snacks but there will be vendors on site if you want to buy food instead.
Toilets are open and ready for use, please use hand sanitiser and practise social distancing while using the facilities.
Tickets: £25.99 per car.
The Harbour Screen Drive In
Image © Harbour Screen Drive Inn
Location: Folkestone Harbour, Harbour Approach Road
For a film with a view look no further than the Harbour Screen Drive-In. Located on the seafront, the gorgeous coastal sunset will be the perfect backdrop for whatever film you choose to see. Currently showing two films but with plans to keep running well into September, this open air venue is a great socially distanced activity for all the family.
The two movies currently on show at this venue are Romeo and Juliet and 1917. Keep an eye out on their website for news of more showings coming soon.
The Harbour Drive-In asks that visitors don't leave their car for any reason other than to use the bathroom. The toilets are available for use but they are not operating at full capacity to in order to keep hygiene levels high.
You are welcome to bring your own food to this venue, but there are also some great local food vendors on site that are open for business. You can download the QTip app on to an Android or iPhone and order dinner straight from your car! You also have the option to pre-order a meal while purchasing your ticket.
Tickets: General admission, £33 per car. Best parking spot in the house, £40 per car.
Luna Cinema (Not Drive in)
Image © Luna Cinema
Location: Leeds Castle (Kent)
This is the only venue on the list that is not a drive in cinema, however, it is special for another reason. This company has pop-up locations set up all over the UK ranging from Blenheim Palace to Wimbledon Park. The best location for open air showings under the moonlight in Kent is Leeds Castle. Imagine, a night under the stars at a medieval castle, taking in the ambience whilst watching a brilliant film. This will be a fun and memorable experience for the whole family.
Some of the movies you can catch at this venue are Joker, Rocketman, The Greatest Showman and Grease.
The Luna Cinema is now operating with a strict social distancing policy. Each ticket buyer will have their own pitch with chairs and a border to keep all your belongings in. Each pitch will be well distanced from others to ensure safety and hygiene is at a high standard throughout the running of the film.
Food venues are open and ready for business at some locations but at Leeds Castle there is no option to buy snacks. You are more than welcome to bring your own feast on site and eat within the boundaries of your pitch.
Toilets are available for use on site. These will be running under social distancing regulations as well and will be continually sanitised during the running of the film but again, please be mindful and sanitise your hands before and after using the facilities.
Tickets: 2 seated pitch, £36. 4 seated pitch, £72.
Living in Dublin, Megan is passionate about all things creative. Currently studying Art in university, when she’s not experimenting with paint and photography you can find her in the cinema enjoying the newest films. She loves spending time with her two younger sisters, exploring nature and finding fun things to do in the city.