Drive-in Cinemas: Solution for people worried about mass screenings


THE Movement Control Order (MCO) imposed to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has affected many business sectors and social activities.

However, it has also led to innovations which have been introduced as people adjust to the new way of life.

For instance, Malaysians who are used to watching movies in the theatres may now have to start going to drive-in cinemas as found in many developed nations.

This may become a reality for Malaysia, which may emulate other countries, including our neighbour, Thailand, which chose to open drive-in cinemas as an alternative to traditional ones as a way to curb the spread of COVID-19.

However, as Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said in a media statement yesterday, it is subject to the set standard operating procedure which would require patrons to remain in their own vehicles, food to be sold online and collected in a drive-through.

For this, the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia together with the Ministry of Housing and Local Government will work out the SOP for the operators involved.

This could be the solution for those who worry about watching movies in a mass audience in an enclosed space as the COVID-19 pandemic is still a cause for worry.

However, the question now is whether drive-in cinemas are relevant in the country considering the weather and the sound of running car engines, as well as the complacent attitude of some Malaysian drivers. These are some of the things which the cinema management must look at.

Cinemas, theatres and live event venues have been allowed to operate  from July 1, but all activities must be held in a closed venue within the SOP.

Today is the 115th day of the MCO which was enforced on March 18, and the 30th day of the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) introduced to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

The effort has been successful with zero cases of local transmission recorded in the last 24 hours, the second consecutive day.

No new deaths have also been recorded during the same period, and the cumulative number of deaths due to the pandemic remain at 121 for 24 consecutive days.

However, until a vaccine is found, it is important that Malaysians remain cautious and consistent in taking preventive measures against the spread of COVID-19.