COVID19 Restrictions Spark Return of Open-Air Cinemas in the Campo de Gibraltar

Rosario Pérez | Photos: ©Fran Montes, ReachExtra

Several municipalities in the region have opted to host free-to-attend open-air cinemas this summer with social distancing rules, sanitisers, and masks.

COVID19 Cinema Cine del Verano Algeciras San Roque 2020

As with every corner of the globe, the Campo de Gibraltar is having to deal with the unusual scenario caused by Covid-19 this summer, which has seen cultural, recreational and leisure activities either postponed, closed or cancelled – however, some have been able to continue.

The consequences brought about by Covid-19 have hit the economy hard and has seen families suddenly having to change their summer plans. In light of this unusual situation, which has forced many people to spend their holiday time at home, or somewhere in the local area, some municipalities have come up with a solution: Both free and paid for outdoor cultural activities and recreational events to make summer more bearable and much more fun for families and their little ones.

The need to adapt to this situation has brought about the revival of the “Cines del Verano” (summer cinemas); something which had been done away with many years ago (except in Algecrias, where the AlCultura Association regularly puts these on). Many town councils in the Campo have been encouraged to host outdoor activities like this to recover what is left of summer.

COVID19 Cinema Cine del Verano Algeciras San Roque 2020

The town councils of Algeciras, San Roque, Los Barrios, Jimena and Tarifa have all organised free outdoor cinemas screening family films.

Algeciras Hosts Screenings on the Beach

COVID19 Cinema Cine del Verano Algeciras San Roque 2020

In Algeciras, screenings have been held every other Wednesday on the different beaches at El Rinconcillo and Getares, with chairs placed on the sand, while in San Roque, the cinema screenings have been “rotating” among different neighbourhoods, in places such as squares, promenades, fairgrounds and even sports courts which have been adapted for the occasion.

The Councillor for Culture of San Roque, Ana Ruiz, told the media that all organisations hosting these screenings have gone above and beyond to comply with the enforced precautionary measures. “Before opening, chairs are disinfected, which have been placed with a metre and a half between each one; hydroalcoholic gel has been offered upon entering the premises; and all attendees have been required to wear masks, which were handed out free of charge to anyone who had forgotten them”.

COVID19 Cinema Cine del Verano Algeciras San Roque 2020

In terms of which municipality has shown the most films, San Roque led the way with a “billboard” of 10 film screenings between mid-June and July, and then 14 more during August. The screenings came to an end last Friday August 28, whereby Aquaman was going to be screened for the final night at the Alameda Alfonso XI park, which is located in the heart of the old town, although this had to be postponed due to strong winds. The travelling cinema passed through all the famous San Roque centres: Guadiaro, Pueblo Nuevo, Torreguadiaro, Sotogrande, Campamento, Puente Mayorga, Guadarranque, Miraflores, Taraguilla and La Estación.

“Greece” Style Retro Drive-in Cinemas in Los Barrios

In Los Barrios, the outdoor cinemas had also been a success, with screenings in neighbourhoods and city centres such as Los Cortijillos, Guadacorte and Palmones. In addition to this, the Campo de Gibraltar also put on a series called “Cine bajo las Estrellas” (“Cinema under the Stars”) whereby the audience would drive in to watch the film during mid-July. This took place at the fairground promenade and included a showing of “Greece” (which, you will remember, contains a memorable scene at a drive-in movie theatre).

Greece, along with other films that would be screened each Friday, were chosen by the public via a voting system across the social networks by the City Council Celebrations Delegation. Among the chosen genres were family films and horror, such as “Padre no hay más que uno” (“father there is only one”) and “La Monja” (“The Nun”).

Daniel Pérez Cumbre, the Councillor for Culture Barreño, said that “there was a limit set so that the maximum capacity for the drive-through cinema was 80 cars”, and the audio for each film could be tuned into via car radio or through mobile phones.

COVID19 Cinema Cine del Verano Algeciras San Roque 2020

Castellar de la Frontera also opted a the drive-through cinema, which, due to the town’s small size, limited the capacity to 45 cars at any given time, which was held at the fairground. Their final screening took place on Saturday, August 23 (also going for the popular film Greece to end the festivities).

In Jimena de la Frontera, summer film screenings of children’s classics such as “Brave” and “Vaiana” started on July 17 at the centre of San Pablo de Buciete, and then screenings were rotated throughout the neighbourhood of La Estación de Jimena, including at the local pool.

In Tarifa, the first appointment of his open-air cinema was on July 16, in the Virgen del Carmen neighborhood, with the projection of the animated film ‘Hotel Transylvania’, and from there he also toured the different areas of the extensive term Tarifeño municipal district, including the remote rural area of La Zarzuela.

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