Drive-in theaters offer Czech film fans alternative way to experience the movies

Image courtesy of Art Parking
Image courtesy of Art Parking

With cinemas welcoming back movie-goers in May, film fans nervous about sitting in enclosed spaces can visit drive-in theaters thanks to a local art collective.

The Art Parking art festival offers a range of movies, poetry readings and other cultural happenings in Prague, Brno, Plzen, and Ostrava on select weekends through the remainder of spring.

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Stage performances that take place on weekends at the Holesovice Market are set to include acts such as dancers, concerts, theatrical performances, stand-up comedy, and even puppet shows for children. Movies are screened nightly at the Zizkov Train station.

“Watching a movie live via an internet webcam or listening to a streamed concert is nice, but a bit like kissing through a veil,” organizers of the festival said on their website. “We think that live art necessarily needs a shared moment here and now. We want to offer people who want such a meeting an extraordinary experience of visiting a cultural event from the comfort and safety of their own car.”

Guests can buy tickets online and expect each show to be as simple as putting your car in park. Wireless receivers or portable speakers are available to provide each car with individual audio for a given show.

Drive-in theaters have seen a surge in popularity in recent years since their heyday in the United States during the 1950s when a rite of teenage passage meant weekends watching movies in cars with friends. Now with the social distancing rules due to the coronavirus pandemic, the theaters are a way for Czechs to get out while not mixing with others.

“I miss going to theaters, but I don’t mind watching movies from home during the pandemic,” says Adam, a student at Prague Film School. “This is unique though, it’s a new experience that gives us an excuse to go and enjoy movies in public again.” 

Art Parking will be putting on events at the Prague Market in Holesovice and Terminal Žižkov this week, with future dates through summer to be announced. 

Tickets: 400 Kč / auto+fee

Movie screenings at: Terminal Žižkov, Jana Želivského 2385/11, Prague, Czech Republic.

Theater performances: The Prague Market, Bubenské nábřeží 306, Holešovice, Prague, Czech Republic

For more information and to buy tickets, go to: www.artparking.cz/

By Ryan Deeb