Here at The Post and Courier, we have a history of hosting unique and community valued events every year. Not letting the COVID-19 quarantine hold us back, we recently held our first Drive-in Movie Night.
This event is a fantastic family-driven event that is a great opportunity for sponsorship. I got to attend the event myself, and will run you through the setup and what you can expect from future events like this.
Where and when was the event?
Our first Drive-in event took place on Friday, May 15th at 8:30pm. Being the spring season, this means we had rare-for-Charleston temperatures in the 70s, and a sunset time around 8pm. These conditions won’t always be available to us here in the lowcountry, so this really was a perfect time of year to host a drive-in movie.
The viewing was hosted at our King Street parking lot in downtown Charleston, which provided ample space for over 100 attendees. But despite the large crowd the event attracted, we did want to be sure social distancing precautions were taken. After all, the ability to go out for a movie, but watch safely from your car was the inspiration for this event amid the current pandemic.
While attendees were welcome to open up their trunks or sit in the bed of their trucks, this was not a tailgating experience. Viewers that arrived together were asked to stay together, so that different groups would not gather.
The luxury of using our parking lot meant spaces were easily marked and attendee’s knew the boundaries of their vehicles. At the end of the night, departure was also a smooth experience, with the lot naturally funneling guests back out onto King Street. It was far from hectic, and for a first time experience, I’d say it went over better than expected. The events team did a fantastic job of directing traffic and making sure everyone was comfortable.
Our partners at D’Allesandro’sPizza and King Street Cookies also took precautions to provide guests with food orders without the need to stand in lines. Both sponsors used phone numbers to communicate with guests when their order arrived at their table at the back of the lot. This way, guests could continue to place orders throughout the night, without having to come into direct contact with others.
Speaking of sponsors, the event presented a number of high impression sponsorship opportunities. This being a unique experience from a traditional movie theater, audiences are naturally more invested in the brands they are presented.
This is a local experience, and it gives attendees the chance to support businesses that are struggling right now. The ads viewers saw ahead of the film, and the food partners they could order from were all local. This isn’t the type of movie experience where you buy skittles and a diet coke and then sit down to watch national commercials.
In a normal movie theater, people know what to expect from advertisements. People have come to learn that you can arrive 10-15 minutes after the listed start time, and still catch the trailers. On top of that, we’re living in an age where theater seats are reserved in advance, so arriving early to get a good seat isn’t a concern anymore.
At a drive in experience, people arrive early and are ready to see everything that comes before the film. We opened our gates an hour and a half prior to the movie start time, and the lot filled up fast. There was a line of cars stretching up king street, full of guests ready to be let in once gates opened.
Join us for the next event
We plan to host 4 more drive-in events throughout 2020, so keep an eye out for the announcement of when those will be. Be sure to contact us to learn how your business can participate in this exciting series of events, as we continue to connect local audiences with Charleston businesses.