ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad city administration has brought the capital back to the movies with a new drive-in cinema to relieve coronavirus tensions in the Pakistani capital where restrictions have been imposed on all indoor entertainment spots.
Jazz Drive-In Cinema, the first such theater in Islamabad, was set up in Fatima Jinnah Park by the Capital Development Authority (CDA), in collaboration with Media Action Pakistan, telecom company Jazz and FM 94 radio. It had its first screenings on Friday and will be open every weekend for the next few months.
People are required to watch the films from inside their cars. They can purchase a ticket for approximately thirty cents from a ticket booth and then park in a space organized in rows that can accommodate up to 200 vehicles. Food stalls have also been set up at the venue.
“The people of Islamabad needed an activity here, because due to COVID all the cinemas are closed, indoor dining is closed, there are no concerts happening in the city,” Islamabad’s deputy commissioner, Muhammed Hamza Shafqaat, told Arab News on Sunday. “There has been a lot of distress, and a lot of tension going on in the city ... This was an innovative idea where we could provide some kind of relief to the people.”
He said he hoped the drive-in cinema, planned in consultation with health officials, would be both an entertaining and safe outlet for the capital’s residents.
“As everybody, every family, is sitting in their own cars there is not much intermingling between different people so there is no fear of spread of COVID,” Shafqaat said.
Iffat Sultana, who visited the cinema with her husband and daughter to watch the 2019 hit film ‘Jumanji: The Next Level,’ said it felt like she was “in a different Islamabad.
“Even just parked here, the energy is so different, it’s buzzing,” she told Arab News seated in the passenger seat of her car.
“The last time I was in a drive-in was in the sixties or seventies,” movie goer Ali Imran Yusuf said. “To be able to hear everything clearly and at this quality is exciting.”