All singing, all dancing experiences on the bill

THE drive in cinema on Clarence Dock springs back to life this weekend with a new name and an all singing, all dancing new concept.

Big Ed’s (perhaps not the finest name for a cinema if you've ever found yourself sitting behind such a thing) is promising themed nights, interactive events and live entertainment.

There have been criticisms in the past of street lights interfering with the quality of screen image. Now owners have improved the 20m x 14m screen, believed to be the largest in the UK, added a backing screen to reduce ambient light, built a large stage in front of the screen, fenced in the land and invested in improved lighting and refreshment cabins, it says here.

Formerly Route 66, there are plenty of kicks, quite literally. Big Ed’s drive-in cinema opens on Saturday, October 1 at 7.30pm with Britain’s Got Talent contestants Boogie Storm taking to the stage ahead of the first film, the 1970s "stranded at the drive-in" Grease.

If that wasn't enough excitement for one night, the next turn is a fire-eating, angle-grinding female group  calledClique who will entertain cinema goers before they "say hello to a little friend" in the night’s second movie, the Brian De Palma/Oliver Stone visceral mob thriller Scarface. 

The evening will be repeated on Sunday, October 2.

Neil Davies, of Big Ed’s Drive-in Cinema Ltd, said: “We want to retain the novelty of the drive-in, but make it more interactive and give families a really great experience.  

The drive in cinema at Clarence Dock

“This time though we are doing it with a twist, not only will we have live entertainment on the new stage, but themed movie nights. For example, in Hallowe’en month we will have actors running between cars scaring people as they watch the movies. 

“We will also have family nights, showing films like Frozen with Elsa and Olaf appearing on stage before the film and we plan to have a Christmas spectacular with a Santa’s grotto and films like Home Alone and The Grinch.”

Visitors tune in to the film’s audio either via their vehicle’s sound system or their "hand-held devices". Costs are £20 per vehicle regardless of numbers of occupants.

Says Davies: “We have improved all aspects of the drive-in cinema with a massively improved screen and a cleaner more dressed site, but retaining those classic features like burgers served at your car."

The outdoor cinema is located at: Clarence Dock, Waterloo Road (the Dock Road) L3 7BE.