Author’s Blurb: Drive-in cinemas are something I’ve only seen in movies. Cosy images of couples cuddling up on the roof of their cars, with takeout snacks and drinks. The only downside to going to an actual drive-in cinema is that I can’t help but be a little turned off thinking about the traffic jam when everyone wants to leave in the end.
The smell of popcorn, walking past the many “Coming Soon” posters on the walls, and the big screen flashing before your eyes.
Plenty of us have been missing the moviegoing experience in cinemas all throughout MCO.
That’s what sparked the idea for M-Junction Drive-In Cinema (M-Junction), which will be one of the first Malaysian drive-in cinemas we’re seeing in the modern age.
For this, we have Arvin Randahwa, CEO of TwoSpicy Entertainment and his friend to thank for.
“A random catchup between me and my friend from MD Events Asia gave birth to this idea,” Arvin told Vulcan Post.
“He had the equipment and knowledge in audio-visual systems, and my team and I had the experience and knowledge to pull off this product. So, we decided to work together to make it happen.”
For some background on TwoSpicy Entertainment, they’re the ones behind some of Malaysia’s exciting and unique experiences like Dinner In The Sky Malaysia, Plane In The City, Le Petit Chef, The Largest Maze in Malaysia, and so on.
“The drive-in cinema therefore perfectly fit with our company’s vision and our existing database of followers,” Arvin added.
By now you’ve probably already heard of it and been on the lookout for more details on where, when, or how this event will take place.
Personally hungry for more information ourselves, here’s what we managed to extract from Arvin on what M-Junction’s drive-in cinema will look like when it launches.
1. It will be located at Malaysia Tourism Centre (MATIC).
Malaysia Tourism Centre (MATIC) can be found along Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, and you may have passed it countless times on your way to KLCC.
“We chose MATIC due to its location being in the heart of the city and because their vision matched with us, which is to promote domestic tourism in the current business climate where international tourists are not allowed into the country,” Arvin explained.
Like other drive-in cinemas overseas, the movie “hall” will be in MATIC’s carpark.
2. There will be a maximum of 50 cars per session.
To ensure the quality of the experience is not compromised, M-Junction will only allow up to 50 cars per screening with the capacity of 2 pax maximum in a car.
Editor’s Note: We previously wrote that only 30 cars would be allowed, but have since updated it to 50 cars to reflect accuracy.
This is because those in the back seats will not be able to see the screen.
M-Junction is also strictly adhering to the drive-in cinema SOPs set by the government, which were revealed last Friday.
Hence, there will be a distance between cars, with ticketing, orders, and payments done through contactless and cashless methods.
The movement of people on the ground will also be controlled, and staff will be wearing masks at all times.
Daily temperature checks for both staff and guests will also be done regularly to avoid cluster infections from happening unexpectedly.
3. Reserved and first come first served “seating”.
Realistically, I think coming into this experience will imitate finding a good parking spot when you hit the mall for a movie screening.
M-Junction will be offering 2 ticket tiers which differ in terms of rows and package deals.
“The front row will be reserved for sponsors and higher ticket categories, while general admission seats will be first come first served,” Arvin shared.
As for snacks, they will be included in the ticket packages, but there will also be options to purchase food on site.
When asked about ticket prices and whether they’ll be charged per head or per car, Arvin declined to answer, wanting to keep that news a secret until the ticket launch day, which is tentatively set for July 20, 2020.
4. A large LED Screen & Bluetooth audio for your viewing pleasure.
One thing that will be interesting to note for me is how the audio-visual quality of a movie will work for an outdoor setting, since indoor cinemas have ways to calibrate their speakers so that each seat will basically get the same experience.
Arvin told us that M-Junction’s movies will be screened on a large LED screen with audio transmitted through a mix of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology.
The exact details of how this will all play out will also only be shared as they launch their ticket sales.
5. It’ll have a good mix of movie choices, just like a regular ol’ cinemas.
M-Junction is set to show a collection of classics and recent releases, as well as local and international movies.
While he wanted to keep his lips tightly sealed, he was willing to at least share this much with us: “There will be something big, and scary, and from a long long time ago.”
This variety is catered to their target market of urbanites, domestic interstate travellers, students, young adults, and small families, of whom they have a waiting list of more than 13,000 people.
Arvin also mentioned that in order to get the rights for screening these movies, they needed to apply for plenty of applications and licences from various departments.
“It was a very interesting learning experience for us, from getting the movie screening rights to speaking to the local police,” he mused.
6. Shows will be rescheduled for unpredictable weather.
Unpredictable weather is a bane for drive-in cinemas, but M-Junction is prepared to tackle it with a mixture of technology and traditional methods.
In the event of thunderstorms, screenings of the movie will be delayed up to a certain time or rescheduled.
To battle our typical Malaysian humidity, the team is finalising ways to cool the area down in an environmentally conscious way to reduce CO2 emissions for their attendees.
Overall, M-Junction has plans to expand its drive-in cinema to more locations and has already been approached to launch in other venues.
It’s no doubt going to be exciting for Malaysians experiencing this for the first time.
As the pandemic isn’t over yet, a gathering of people in one space for a few hours may sound like a bad idea.
However, if everyone stays in their socially distanced cars with masks on, it should be a lot safer than the one-seat gap in cinema halls.
Bottom Line: Seeing as M-Junction plans to make this a long-term thing (as opposed to a one-off event), I would personally want to experience this myself at least once. Although, I’d definitely wait until the hype dies down.
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Featured Image Credit: AP