Families get 'back to the future' at drive-in in Skegness

After weeks of only having the television for entertainment, there's a new venue in Skegness where you can still be in your PJs in your own social bubble - and have a great night out.
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The launch of the town's new 'drive-in' Moonlight Cinema at the weekend proved a massive success, leaving audiences crying out for more.

Friday night's sell-out showing of the Seventies' musical 'Grease' saw people even arriving in fancy dress and singing along, as well as enjoying a game of musical bingo.

The Saturday night feature, 'Back to the Future', could not have had a more appropriate title as more leisure facilities along the coast re-opened and families came out together for the first time since lockdown began to sample the 'new norm'.

Back to the Future was shown on the second night of the launch of the drive-in Moonlight Cinema in Skegness.Back to the Future was shown on the second night of the launch of the drive-in Moonlight Cinema in Skegness.
Back to the Future was shown on the second night of the launch of the drive-in Moonlight Cinema in Skegness.

First impressions was how fantastic the venue at the former derelict Kwiksave site in Old Wainfleet Road looks - with its illuminated 'Moonlight Cinema' signage and renovated former supermarket building housing a refeshments kiosk selling all the favourite cinema treats such as hot dogs, popcorn and waffles. There was even a 'mocktail' bar, perfect for the drivers.

The only real indication were were still in the middle of a pandemic was that the toilets on site were placed two metres apart and there were sanitiser stations on the exit.

Cars were guided in rows in front of the large screen and customers were handed 'silent disco' headsets which you could see glowing in the dark while they watched the film.

A company from London supplied the large screen and the latest in Bluetooth technology headsets for guests, which were sanitised before and after use. There was a technician on site to help with any problems.

The Sweeney family of Skegness watched the film from their camper van - with the children having the best view.The Sweeney family of Skegness watched the film from their camper van - with the children having the best view.
The Sweeney family of Skegness watched the film from their camper van - with the children having the best view.

Charlton Cooper - manager at Skegness Aquarium, which is part of Teen Spirit who own the Tower Cinema and arcade in Skegness and BJ's in Ingoldmells - said: "I think it went very well over the weekend.

"There was a great atmosphere on both nights. It was great to see families enjoying themselves with the young ones again.

"I'd also like to say what a fantastic job my father-in-law's company, Teen Spirit, have done transforming that site from a high crime derelict site to a place that’s safe for families to come back to.

"We came up with the idea after reading some articles of similar drive-in cinemas in Europe during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Rob and Holly Mapletoft came all the way from Louth.Rob and Holly Mapletoft came all the way from Louth.
Rob and Holly Mapletoft came all the way from Louth.

"Our aim was to offer a safe family event - all from the comfort of your own car."

Ben White, safety officer for Teen Spirit, said: "We've had a lot of feedback on social media who came on the first night and said what a fantastic time they had."

Rob and Holly Mapletoft came all the way from Louth. "We tried to go to one in Cleethorpes at Christrmas but it got called off," said Rob.

"We've come along with friends tonight and they are parked next to us, so although we are in our cars we can still see and talk to them."

Lee Airstone was there with a mocktail wagon. He told us he was usually at festivals and events at this time of the year but jumped at the chance of taking part in the cinema launch.Lee Airstone was there with a mocktail wagon. He told us he was usually at festivals and events at this time of the year but jumped at the chance of taking part in the cinema launch.
Lee Airstone was there with a mocktail wagon. He told us he was usually at festivals and events at this time of the year but jumped at the chance of taking part in the cinema launch.

Chris Sweeney of Skegness arrived with his family in a camper van, his children having the best view from the roof.

He said: "We have had a fantastic time.

"It's the first time we have been to anything like this.

"It's been great to get out and get all of us together. The venue has facilities and it's well organised.

"It's been great."

Moonlight Cinema plans to old more nights around the end of the month. In the meantime, the Tower Cinema in Lumley Road is due to open later this week.

Full details will be announced on their Facebook page.