Coronavirus Outbreak: With film festival pushed, theatres shut, locals turn to drive-in screenings in Cannes

Cannes Film Festival was scheduled to take place from 12-23 May this year.

Reuters May 21, 2020 17:12:00 IST
Coronavirus Outbreak: With film festival pushed, theatres shut, locals turn to drive-in screenings in Cannes

The Riviera resort of Cannes should have been playing host to the world’s biggest names in film. Instead, with its annual film festival postponed and the red carpet rolled up, locals made do with a drive-in cinema in a beachfront car park.

As dusk fell, the audience settled down in their convertible sports cars and family run-arounds, popcorn on the dashboard and children hanging out the windows, to watch Steven Spielberg’s 1980s classic ET the Extra-Terrestrial.

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A drive-in cinema in France. Image from @le_Parisien

With cinemas, theatres and restaurants still closed as France cautiously unwinds its coronavirus lockdown, people were content to watch a movie outdoors on a balmy evening on the Mediterranean coast.

“You’ve got to make the most of the moment. It makes up for things a bit,” said one woman. She had driven to the Palm Beach with her grown-up son, who sat next to her wearing a face mask.

The 51 vehicles allowed to the screening were parked in every other space and staff wearing face-shields scanned barcodes on tickets.

The Cannes Film Festival was originally scheduled to take place from 12-23 May. Beyond the star-studded screenings, production and distribution firms head to the Cote d’Azur to complete deals.

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