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Manchester to gain Covid-compliant drive-in theatre

A new 800-capacity drive-in theatre is set to open in Manchester next year and will be permitted to operate even under tier 3 restrictions.

Manchester is once again subject to the toughest restrictions in the UK’s three-tier system – which came into force on Wednesday (2 December) after the national lockdown ended – due to the city’s ‘very high’ weekly cases rate.

However, come spring next year, locals can get their culture fix regardless of restrictions when the new DriveInside Theatre opens at the Trafford Centre.

A four-week run of shows will begin in March, with creators Beyond Theatre hosting more than 30 productions including Queen by Candlelight, Viva 4Ever and The Immersive Rocky Experience.

Creator of the venue, Paul Levin, says: “We are really an immersive theatre production company, but when Covid shut down our productions we started thinking about how we could put on live performances again.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be able to offer the lifeline of some real work for around 1,000 industry people”

“The DriveInside Theatre is our answer, and we cannot wait to bring the thrill and excitement of live events back to the people of Manchester.

“Our industry has suffered terribly throughout the pandemic. The vast majority of people working in theatre are contract based and usually supplement their income in slow periods by working in hospitality.

“With both industries being hit so hard we are absolutely thrilled to be able to offer the lifeline of some real work for around 1,000 industry people in Manchester next March.”

Ticket prices are per seat with a discount for three seats or more per vehicle. Each booking will be given its own parking space and adjacent viewing area beneath a 68,000 sq ft marquee, which will be the largest in Europe, according to organisers.

Visitors will be asked to leave their vehicles on the driver’s side to manage social distancing from other guests.

The format of the event is similar to that of the Virgin Money Unity Arena, the country’s first socially distanced arena which opened in Newcastle in August.


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