London debuts float-in movie theater on Regent’s Canal

U.K. residents got a taste of the country’s first float-in movie theater on Regent’s Canal in London.

In the era of social distancing, the company OpenAire is playing classic movies on a floating LED screen. Patrons park their small boat rentals that seat up to six passengers to watch the films. The theater experience adheres to pandemic restrictions, all the while providing some welcome fun.

“There was a bit of a light bulb moment, actually,” co-founder James Greenhalgh told the Associated Press. “The idea came about midway through lockdown. We’re thinking about a drive-in concept and then we really liked the idea of being able to deliver driving by boats.”

Every theatergoer receives a pair of wireless headphones so they can properly tune in. Guests can even order popcorn and snacks using an app.

“We’ve also got a QR code menu, so everything will be totally contactless,” Greenhalgh said. “You’ll sit in your deckchair or your boat and you’ll order through the QR code and your food or drink will be brought right to you. So maintaining as much contact-free as we possibly can.”

For those who aren’t so excited about being on the water, there’s also a section of deck chairs near the canal. The OpenAire cinema series will run throughout September. Films like “Toy Story,” “The Lion King,” “Rocketman” and “The Greatest Showman” are expected to show.

“It’s an experience you’re never going to forget at the end of the day,” a viewer, Dr. Vee Shathur, told the Associated Press. “And, you know, memories are going to be forever. So going to the cinema is just very bog-standard isn’t it these days. But this is something you’re never going to forget. So I think it’s definitely worth investing in.”

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