Corona flicks

Tel Aviv reopens drive-in theater for night of romantic flicks

The parking lot of the Hapoel Tel Aviv basketball arena is repurposed for a drive-in theater

Jessica Steinberg, The Times of Israel's culture and lifestyles editor, covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center

Getting things ready at the Tel Aviv drive-in theater, reopened during August 2020 (Courtesy Amir Yakoby)
Getting things ready at the Tel Aviv drive-in theater, reopened during August 2020 (Courtesy Amir Yakoby)

If you live in Tel Aviv and own a car, order some tickets for the drive-in theater, being reintroduced this week with two nights of romantic movies in honor of Tu B’Av, Israel’s Valentine’s Day, at 9 p.m., on August 5 and 6.

The Tel Aviv Cinematheque, in partnership with the City of Tel Aviv-Jaffa, is screening the movies at the parking lot of the Shlomo Group Arena, where the Hapoel Tel Aviv basketball team plays their home games.

The movies being screened on Wednesday and Thursday are the French romantic comedy “La Belle Époque” and the Israeli comedy “Zero Motivation.”

Tickets can only be purchased by Tel Aviv’s DigiTel Resident Card holders, and must be purchased ahead of time at the municipality website.

Each screening can accommodate a total of 200 vehicles, all in accordance with Health Ministry guidelines and Israel’s “purple badge” public health standards.

The opening of the drive-in theater joins other municipal activities created to help pass the coronavirus summer, including support to artists and and cultural organizations, subsidizing outdoor performances in restaurants and cafes, funding street performers, and offering outdoor activities for families and elderly residents, said Mayor Ron Huldai in a statement.

Tel Aviv’s drive-in complex — which was also the country’s only drive-in theater — was opened in 1973, and launched with Walt Disney’s “The Jungle Book.”

It moved on to more adult films in the early 1980s and closed in 2000, before being repurposed as the Hapoel Tel Aviv basketball arena 14 years later.

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