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Tel Aviv opens socially distanced sail-in movie theater

With mix of family-friendly viewings and late-night showings, municipality floats a solution to closing of cinemas amid pandemic — popcorn not included

People watch a movie from small boats at 'sail-in' floating cinema at HaYarkon Park's boating lake in Tel Aviv, Israel, Aug. 20, 2020 (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
People watch a movie from small boats at 'sail-in' floating cinema at HaYarkon Park's boating lake in Tel Aviv, Israel, Aug. 20, 2020 (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

With seeing a movie in a regular theater currently a thing of the past amid the coronavirus pandemic, Tel Aviv last week kicked off its sail-in theater on the boating lake in Park Ha’Yarkon.

Movie buffs watched films on a theater-sized screen while bobbing gently on moored rowboats and paddle boats.

Tickets cost NIS 80 (approximately $23) per boat for Tel Aviv resident cardholders or NIS 200 (approximately $58) for those who don’t live in the city.

Each boat holds three or four passengers, depending on the type of vessel.

Israelis watch a movie at the ‘Sail-In’ floating cinema at the Hayarkon Park in Tel Aviv, August 20, 2020 (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

The program is a mix of family-friendly screenings at 7:30 p.m. and then a second slot at 10 p.m.

Face masks aren’t required on the social-distanced boats, but they are mandatory when entering and exiting the boating lake.

Additionally, all kids under the age of 12 must wear a life jacket at all times.

Due to restrictions, immensely over-priced beverages and popcorn are not on sale for patrons, who themselves prove a delicious snack for the local mosquitos.

People watch a movie at HaYarkon Park’s boating lake in Tel Aviv, Aug. 20, 2020 (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

The Health Ministry-approved activity is a joint project between the municipality and the Tel Aviv Cinematheque.

The city has also reopened its historic drive-in theater and on Sunday announced a new program of movies as part of the DocAviv documentary festival [Hebrew].

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