After more than three months without being able to head to the cinemas due to COVID-19 I was extremely excited to be able to head to the Drive-In cinemas for the first ever time last weekend. That’s right, in my over 30 years of existence on this planet, I have never ever been to a Drive-In cinema. But was the wait worth it?
On Sunday, I headed to the Lunar Drive-In down in Dandenong to watch cult classic, Grease. But it wasn’t just your regular version, it was the Sing-A-Long version. One that I had experienced previously at Moonlight Cinemas. However, I feel the experience of the Sing-A-Long is lost when you’re unable to hear other patrons singing at the top of their lungs while you’re sitting isolated in a vehicle.
The film itself, well, I don’t really need to dive into what the film is about nor how amazing it is. Because, let’s face it, if you have not seen Grease by now, that’s on you. However, the mixing of the sound was strange. Almost as if the songs sounded completely different to how I recall. This is likely due to the film being a Sing-A-Long and that the music needed to take on a stronger presence. Last time I saw this however, I didn’t feel this way. Mostly because it was open air with decent surround sound as opposed to an enclosed space and generic stereo sound.
Sadly, for me, this was not the only negative. However, I feel this is due to the extensive renovations the location was undertaking. I was positioned direct in front of Screen Two where the angle of the car was facing down. Meaning I was forced to slouch in my chair in order to see the screen in full. Although, when I looked at the other screens at the complex, the positioning was much better and I know I would have had a better experience if I were at a different screen.
The food is good, all your basic cinema candy bar staples. Popcorn, high-sugar post mix (yum), choc-tops and a large selection of chocolates and lollies. Lunar also has a selection of hot foods, similar to what you would find at sporting or concert events. Hot Dogs, Burgers, Chips are all available. Normally I would be against hot food at the cinema because the smell can irritate other patrons during the film. However, when you are isolated in a car, there is no need to be cautious. You can eat to your heart’s content. The price of the food is also quite generous, so it won’t break the bank as much as you would think.
Overall, the experience was half-half and I am sure, as mentioned, the misgivings are due to the renovations Lunar is undergoing and are understandable. A friend actually attended the same evening, parked at another screen and didn’t have the same experience. So, I know that if the circumstances were different, the experience would have been all positive. I will definitely be back to check it out once the renovations are complete.
However, this shouldn’t deter you from a visit. Businesses like Lunar have done it tough over the last three months and need our support now, more than ever. Lunar are currently offering eight screening per night, on four screens over two sessions, seven nights a week. They are offering a wide selection films from this years releases with the odd classic thrown in. Whatever your choice, you will be treated to some classic drive-in nostalgia with some old school animated advertisements. You can check out the programme on their website and all tickets are sold on the night. So get there early to secure your spot!
For more information, visit: http://lunardrive-in.com.au