It flickers in the box

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There are still drive-in cinemas. And the plants are experiencing a small Comeback. Visit in Cologne-Porz, where since 1968, the Popcorn in the Car rustles – and not only that.


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Fabian Hoberg

Fabian Hoberg

Sunday, 23.09.2018
11:36 PM

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From the cars, it giggles. Popcorn bags rustling, it smells of Chips. Sedans, sports, and small Parking cars next to each other, are slightly increased. From a vehicle, the occupant let the feet of the side window, dangle, their seats are pushed back, the Backrest in the lying position.

Marius and Alexander, both from Bornheim, near Bonn, did this year, OJ and enjoy the free time – tonight at the drive-in cinema Cologne-Porz. “More relaxed, you can not look on such a large canvas, and also the Sound from the radio is good,” says Marius. Through the windshield the two of them on a 15 by 36-Meter-wide plastic-coated aluminum plate look. The sound comes from the radio speakers, to transmit on a FM frequency.

Fabian Hoberg

The sound is transmitted into the car

Drive-in theaters are growing in popularity Among the cinema-special shapes, film festivals, municipal or University include cinemas, are recorded in the figures, the drive-in cinemas in traffic and sales in 2017, a growth, such as the film promotion Agency reported to FFA. Last year, the drive-in theaters sold 313.445 cards, an increase of 15.2 percent. And, although the number of locations decreases. Only about 20 drive-in theaters in Germany, some of them run only in the summer months. 45 years ago there were still about 40. Streaming services and professional Home Entertainment systems with Dolby-Surround presenters long been an Alternative to professional Film – even if the canvas is significantly smaller. Overall, the decline in viewers leads.

Even the dog can

The largest provider in the German drive-in theaters, the company DWJ that shows alone in the five cities films, including in Gravenbruch, near Frankfurt, but also Aschheim, food, Kornwestheim, and in Cologne, Germany. Around 50,000 visitors watch a movie in your car. Popular action movies like the “Fast and Furious”series, and movie classics such as “Blues Brothers”. Increasingly, mobile auto open, however, the cinemas, the tour only for a limited period of time in one place.

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Drive-in cinema:
Travel to the Film

In Cologne-Porz rattled for the first time at 18. August 1968 a Film through the projector, “Blow Up” by Michelangelo Antonioni. For years there have been daily for at least a demonstration, Fridays and Saturdays and before public holidays and late-days idea, it makes almost 500 performances a year.

Only on Christmas eve, new year’s eve and Rosenmontag, the screen remains dark. Or if heavy rain, fog or snow obstruct the view to the canvas. The majority of visitors come on the weekends, more in the summer than in the Winter. Clear, then the crackles only rarely rain on the roof and no external fan has to heat up the car.

Up to 1300 vehicles on an area of 50,000 square meters of space, today there are only a few Hundred. Heike Naumann sits in the small house and welcomed the guests. For three years she worked here as a Deputy theatre Manager. “A drive-in theater is the coolest kind of cinema. It may be used alone or together, watch a movie on a big screen without being disturbed,” she says. Also, you could talk to set the tone as loud as you want, during the film, with its passenger, to the nervous without the other, or a cigarette Smoking. Even the dog could sleep during the presentation on the back seat.

Eight Euro a Film costs

Between three and five members of staff each evening to take care of the guests, to prepare the attached Restaurant, Popcorn, Nachos, French fries, burgers and sausage. An hour before the film starts, the staff meet and prepare at the Restaurant. Half an hour before the film starts, the goal for the visitors will open. Without the Park guides visitors to find a space, the best are the third and fourth row, center. Due to the slight Incline, which rises from front to back, not to disturb even SUV’s and small buses the rear guests. Eight euros for a movie, one with extra Length costs two euros extra.

The operator will go with the technique. Blaring at the opening in Cologne, the sound spread from a Four-Watt Mono speakers that were distributed to the column speakers on the site, now the sound is in Dolby Stereo via an FM frequency through your car radio. Instead of 35-Millimeter projectors in the Film via digital projector with 7000-Watt-Xenon-burners come on, the movies store with the sound on external hard drives on a Server.

The first drive-in cinema, a film strip winding through a projector, threw the light on a white stone wall. In 1933, in Camden, New Jersey. The sound penetrated three large speakers on the Parking for 335 cars, so he was still hear many kilometers away. A Boom the drive-in cinemas in the Fifties and sixties, experienced. At the end of fifty years there were already 4,000 open-air-cinema halls. Remained in the United States today with around 300 of the drive-in cinemas.

“More personal than normal cinemas”

For the first time, flickered in Germany on the 31. March 1960 in Gravenbruch near Frankfurt, a Film about a giant canvas of 540 square meters. However, none of the Americans exported the Passage of the idea, according to Hesse, but the German-born South Africans, Hermann Franz. Before he moved to Germany, he built in South Africa 20 of the giant cinemas.

For two-Mark and 75 Pfennig, at the time of the Frankfurt visitors, Yul Brunner were able to watch in “The king and I”. The sound came from the small speakers that hung on the side Windows. A place to retreat to – in a private atmosphere, without the supervision of parents. That was in the suburban sixties, new and many of the customs guards a thorn in the eye. Their own rooms were in adolescents and young adults, of course.

Fabian Hoberg

Anika and her friend Moritz in the drive-in cinema

Jacqueline, 26, from Cologne, Germany for the second Time in the drive-in theater, with her in the Mercedes CLA Lea, 25, a student from Cologne sits. The two of them were extra shopping beforehand, rye bread with cold cuts and want to make themselves comfortable. A bag of Popcorn, but still. “The first Time we were in Winter at the drive-in, which was nice, an electric heater has warmed up the car. But in the summer it is even better,” says Jacqueline. The Windows are open, the warm breeze blowing through the car and gives her a sense of freedom. You find drive-in movies are more personal than normal cinemas.

Anika and her friend for the first Time in the drive-in cinema

For the same reason, Anika visited the cinema. She is 18 years old, has only recently the driver’s licence. With her boyfriend Moritz, 17, she goes often to the cinema, now you are for the first Time in the drive-in cinema. “I like the atmosphere,” says the student from Pulheim. The Backrest of the VW Golf Cabrio to her mother are already in the perfect viewing position for the Film “Breaking in”. Two large bags of Popcorn and two small bottles of iced tea have to suffice for the Film. The roof remains in place during the demonstration closed “The Sound is so much the better,” she says.

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