A cultural landmark in the Valencian town of Denia has issued a plea to the local government for help as the impending summer equinox threatens its closure.
The drive in cinema, Miralles Autocine Drive-In is under threat as the changing of the clocks leaves the popular venue no option but to close its doors to the public.
Opened in 1979 by the Miralles family, the cinema has seen a boom in business since it reopened in May last year, and was the first cinema in Europe to do so, putting the venue on the map.
Despite its popularity, the change to summer time has put its future in doubt as the cinema is still under the curfew regulations that all businesses have to abide.
The issue arises as during the winter months films begin after dusk, around 7.30pm to give Miralles enough time to show a full feature film before the 10.30pm curfew.
However with the lighter nights drawing in, it will be impossible to show a full length film, forcing the venue to turn off its projectors until the situation eases.
Carles Miralles, owner of the cinema and son of the founder has pleaded with the Valencian government to give the venue some leeway to enable them to keep their doors open.
“We won’t be able to work after the clocks go forward, and that’s why we’re asking to be allowed to be able to give our customers slips to show that they’ve been to the drive-in and for them to be given enough time to get home after the curfew,” said Miralles to The Guardian.
Miralles explained that the venue is perfectly suited to operating under COVID-19 conditions and that it has been made particularly popular with movie lovers not wanting to risk visiting traditional cinemas.
“We have a 12,000 square metre plot with space for over 400 cars safely spaced apart. The only time they are outside is for the toilet and for food and drinks,” said Miralles.
“No-one is ever indoors or within close proximity with another person.”
The Valencian government has stood firm on keeping the cinema under general restrictions but Miralles hopes he can appeal to them to use common sense and give them help to stay open.
“There is already a clause in place for workers and emergency situations to travel after 10.30pm, but not for leisure purposes,” said Miralles.
“But when the film finishes, people are simply driving straight home and not walking the streets putting themselves at risk.”
Since it reopened, the cinema has been showing all the new releases, but also classics such as The Goonies, Gremlins and Jurassic Park.
Every Thursday, they also show un dubbed movies in English which has brought them a loyal expat following.
Currently it is showing the new Godzilla vs. King Kong blockbuster and Miralles hopes that he can continue to thrill audiences with newly released Hollywood smashes after the summer nights begin.