Plans to launch drive-in cinema in Bahrain

Movie theatres in Bahrain have been closed since March 18

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. Light Trails On Road In City Against Sky Photo Taken In Al Muharraq, Bahrain.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Light Trails On Road In City Against Sky Photo Taken In Al Muharraq, Bahrain.

Getty Images/ Aditya Kothari / EyeEm

Watching a movie while sitting in the comfort of your car may soon be a reality as Bahrain plans to launch a drive-in cinema.

Movie theatres in Bahrain have been closed since March 18 as part of government measures to combat the spread of Covid-19.

However, Industry, Commerce and Tourism Minister Zayed Alzayani yesterday revealed that discussions were taking place to venture into the concept of drive-in cinemas.

“One of the issues we have is to restrict large gatherings during the pandemic and cinemas face two challenges,” explained the minister.

“First, there are no movies being produced or no content during this period; even Ramadan episodes could not be completed as filming had to stop.

“The second question is whether cinemas will open shortly, I don’t think so and it will probably be the last sector to open.”

Mr Alzayani was speaking during a webinar held yesterday, where he said Bahrain could take steps like those by Dubai to launch a drive-in cinema.

“We have an initiative now and agreed to have outdoor cinema or drive-in, where people are within their own vehicles and do not mix with the crowd,” he added.

Well-placed sources at the Bahrain Cinema Company also told the GDN that plans are underway to launch its first drive-in cinema, though further details of the project were not shared.

Meanwhile, speaking on the closure of salons and sheesha cafes since March, the minister said these would also be among the last sectors to reopen.

“We have looked at the different sectors and followed a traffic light approach, where we have red, amber and green,” he explained.

“The way we classify them is based on the risk of spread (of the virus), so green has essential businesses such as hypermarkets, hospitals and pharmacies and those in the middle are restaurants opened for delivery or takeaways.

“The red ones are extreme due to a lot of human contact and the risk of spreading the disease. These include salons, sheesha cafes and massage centres.”

However, he said Bahrain has reached a point in which it would continue to ease regulations, citing there was no directive to close shops today following the two-week period.

“The salons and sheesha cafes are at the very end of the scale and we are looking at regulations now for restaurants to receive dine-in guests, but we want to keep smaller crowds,” said Mr Alzayani.

He said, however, that this could change at any minute depending on whether the country registers a dramatic spike in positive cases.

sandy@gdn.com.bh

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