Show to go on at drive-in

Entertainment

Show to go on at drive-in

BY RICHARD JOHNSON
Observer senior reporter
johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

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AS the weather system which affected the island last weekend moves away, Palace Amusement is looking to a gradual improvement in the patronage at the New Kingston Drive-in Cinema which opened for business on Saturday.

Marketing Manager Melanie Graham noted that the facility is now open and currently showing the comedy The War with Grandpa, starring Robert DeNiro, and the patrons who have come so far are pleased with the newest entertainment space in the Corporate Area.

“On Saturday there were still conflicting messages out there as to whether or not we were opened, so with the short notice there was understandably only a few patrons. On Sunday the showers which pelted the island prevented us having a show. Now that the weather is improving, we are hoping that people will begin to come out. So we still are not able to do a fail assessment just yet. What we do know is that the persons who have come, those who came to the test run and then the patrons on Saturday are really pleased with what they are seeing and hearing so far, so we are encouraged by that. As is the case across our circuit of cinemas, we are extending the half-price promotion to patrons at the drive-in. So it is half price on Tuesdays,” she told the Jamaica Observer.

Gates to the cinema open at 6:00 pm with showtime set for 6:30 pm.

Graham added that all the shows will be completed in time for both patrons and staff to get home before the Government-instituted curfew, which begins at 9:00 pm.

The drive-in cinema, which was closed over two decades ago, faced an uncertain opening weekend. First, the free test run of the facility last Thursday had to be aborted due to technical difficulties. A near-capacity audience packed the venue, but minutes into the film the show had to be cut short as the “technicals” remained unresolved. This placed the official opening, which was set for last Friday, in jeopardy. Palace Amusement took the decision to delay the opening. The difficulties were sorted out by Friday and the cinema opened on Saturday.

Palace Amusement Company, which has been in the local cinema business since 1921, moved to reopen the drive-in cinema as a measure to deal with the novel coronavirus pandemic and the required protocols of physical distancing which have affected operations at its traditional cinemas.

Due to poor attendance, the company has been forced to close two of its traditional cinemas, Palace Cineplex in Liguanea, St Andrew, and Palace Multiplex located in Montego Bay.


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