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One of the positives to come out of the Covid-19 pandemic and resultant nationwide lockdown is the way business owners have been encouraged to think outside the square.

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In March, when the lockdown was announced, Night Flicks Outdoor Cinema owner-operator Matt O'Meeghan, based in Rotorua, was quick to put his thinking cap on.

He needed a way to ensure a return to business as soon as possible, knowing it would be months before a return to the usual mass gatherings at an outdoor cinema event was allowed.

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That is how the ASB Night Flicks Drive-in Cinema tour was born.

From this Saturday in Tauranga to July 18 in New Plymouth, movie buffs all over New Zealand will be able to enjoy the screening of a feature-length film from the comfort of their own vehicle, ensuring whatever the restrictions on mass gatherings, they will stay safely within their own bubbles.

The ASB Night Flicks Drive in Cinema will allow customers to enjoy a feature length film from the comfort of their own vehicle. Photo / Getty Images
The ASB Night Flicks Drive in Cinema will allow customers to enjoy a feature length film from the comfort of their own vehicle. Photo / Getty Images

"Our traditional event is outdoor cinemas, so we had a look at what we could do and what the rules were going to be around social distancing for the foreseeable future," O'Meeghan said.

"We found ourselves in a unique position to be able to offer an event that ensures attendee safety as well as something for the public to look forward to once we are able to go ahead."

Partnering with Vivid Event Production, an equipment hire company, the idea of a large drive-in cinema tour came together.

Movies will be projected on to a large 33sq m screen with audio broadcast on a dedicated FM frequency so attendees can listen on their car radios. This will provide an authentic drive-in cinema experience and also means people are encouraged to remain in their vehicle for the film's duration.

"Our calendar basically got decimated, so we teamed up with a few other people in the events industry and the drive-in cinema tour came together."

A number of films have been selected for the tour, with something for everyone, along with specially selected venues across the country, including Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland and the Classic Flyers museum in Tauranga.

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Night Flicks Outdoor Cinema owner/operator Matt O'Meeghan. Photo / Andrew Warner
Night Flicks Outdoor Cinema owner/operator Matt O'Meeghan. Photo / Andrew Warner

Classic Flyers sales and marketing manager Cory Tyler said he was excited to host the first stop on the tour.

"We plan to have the screen on our private runway with fighter jets on display around site. This will be the first of its kind and great exposure for the museum."

For more information and to buy tickets, go to nightflicks.co.nz

ASB Night Flicks Drive in Cinema Tour Dates

Tauranga:

Saturday, June 6

Whāngārei:

Friday, June 12

Christchurch:

Saturday, June 13

Hamilton:

Saturday, June 13

Timaru:

Friday, June 19

Palmerston North:

Saturday, June 20

Auckland:

Thursday, June 25

Rotorua:

Friday, July 3

Lower Hutt:

Saturday, July 4

New Plymouth:

Saturday, July 18

Dunedin, Invercargill:

TBA