Client: The Luna Cinema
Event: The Luna Drive-In Winter Cinema
Date: 4-21 December 2020
Attendance: Over 8,000 vehicles
ABOUT THE CLIENT
The Luna Cinema is the market leader in the UK’s open air and pop up cinema industry. During the COVID-19 pandemic, The Luna Drive-In Cinema setup at iconic locations across the country, offering film fans the opportunity to enjoy new and classic movies in a social distanced manner.
Run a series of safe, socially distanced, outdoor film screenings with high ticket sales to audiences from across the Midlands. Attracting those of all ages for festive entertainment following a difficult year. The events also had to conform to all local restrictions and outlined safety measures.
WHY THE NEC?
The NEC was identified as a perfect event site due to the vast space across the car parks, the easy accessibility of the site and the high population numbers within a short drive time.
The venue had already devised a comprehensive plan (“NEC Venue Protect”) to ensure events could take place under new health and safety measures, prior to client contact. This allowed the client to select the venue with no concerns surrounding COVID safety compliance.
The series of events took place in one of the venue’s car parks and The Luna Cinema used the space well to accommodate entrance/exit points, the giant inflatable screen, catering facilities and further amenities. Additional health and safety measures were in place across the site to ensure the events were COVID secure.
Each screening could accommodate up to 400 vehicles, and even for sell-out events, the arrival and departure processes were quick and efficient.
Hosting an event during the COVID pandemic posed the greatest challenge. However, clear Government and industry guidance allowed both the venue and event teams to implement procedures that ensured safe, legal and successful events. The series planning and safety procedure preparation was made straightforward through sound knowledge, open communication and a wealth of event experience across the teams.
Adverse weather conditions caused a major headache just once. High winds caused concern over the safety of the screen one night towards the end of the scheduled run and the decision was made to cancel the screening. The NEC accommodated a rescheduling after the initial tenancy was due to expire however, and the overall event management and visitor experience continued professionally and calmly.
The events were a great success. Customer feedback was nearly all positive and initial attendance expectations were far surpassed.
George Wood, Managing Director and Founder of The Luna Cinema, said: “The NEC felt like the perfect venue to host a season of Festive drive-in cinema screenings. Given the challenges of 2020, and lack of out-of-home cultural experiences to enjoy, we were honoured to be able to welcome so many people for a magical Christmas film in a safe, socially distanced way. The site of course lent itself perfectly to the demands of a ‘Covid-19 Secure’ event, and the brilliant team at the NEC made the entire experience as smooth and enjoyable as putting events on in a pandemic can ever be!
“I know I speak for all the Luna team when I say we look forward to working together in the future to put on many more events at the NEC as the entertainment industry emerges from this difficult period.”