Independent Drive-in Cinemas Boom in Croatia

    Autokino Autokino

    ZAGREB: Independent drive-in projects in the Croatian cities of Varaždin, Zagreb and Rijeka are attracting hundreds of spectators, while exhibitors wait for the reopening of cinemas.

    The first drive-in screenings were introduced on 8 and 9 May 2020 by Kino Gaj, a member of the Croatian Independent Cinemas Network. Against all expectations, they attracted hundreds of spectators in a parking lot near the Varaždin sports arena, where Hollywood hits Jumanji 2 directed by Jake Kasdan and Knives Out directed by Rian Johnson were screened free of charge.

    Art kino Croatia in Rijeka restarted their drive-in project Autokino on 9 May with a screening of Fellini’s classic I Vitelloni. Art kino Croatia is also a member of the Croatian Independent Cinemas Network, but this project was organised in the framework of the Rijeka 2020 - European Capital of Culture programme. Additional screenings of cult classics in Rijeka are scheduled for the following Saturdays, free of charge with prior reservation.

    In the past five days, three drive-in projects were announced in the Croatian capital, all by non-mainstream actors, most of whom do not have prior experience in organising such events.

    “We are still waiting for a location permit from the City of Zagreb, and if everything goes according to the plan, the first screening will take place in May,” says Ivana Bradić, project manager of DriveINkino Zagreb organised by the Croatian Student Association.

    Drive-in cinemas also inspired two Zagreb students, Marin Leo Janković and Sabrina Herak Smoković, to organise the Drive in Culture project. Their production house Sabmarine is preparing a three-day humanitarian drive-in event that will take place in the centre of Zagreb from 15 to 17 May and will screen eight independent Croatian short and feature films. Admission will be free, but voluntary donations will be collected to help the cultural community and students who are struggling during the crisis.

    Another project focusing on mainstream films has been announced by the marketing agency Kreativna poslovna rješenja in the parking lot of the Zagreb Fair. They intend to screen eight films for 300 cars per screening, and to charge 13 EUR / 100 HRK per car ticket.

    Croatian mainstream cinemas are losing 1.7 m EUR / 13.1 m HRK per month during the lockdown, and an additional 144,626 EUR / 1.1 m HRK per month is lost in the Croatian Independent Cinemas Network, according to estimates published by FNE.