Philippines mall offers innovative float-in movie experience

Filmgoers are getting quite the romantic view in the Philippines.

A Venice-themed open-air mall in Manila is boasting the country’s first “float-in cinema.” The events, hosted by McKinley Hill Mall, will allow patrons to watch films from the comfort of a gondola.

“I think Filipinos have reached a point already that they have realized that ‘hey, this pandemic is here’ and we have to stop being afraid of it. But actually accepting it and embracing it and think of safer and healthier ways of going into our day to day lives,” Tefel Pesigan-Valentino, head of marketing and business development, told the Associated Press.

Only two people are permitted per boat and each gondola is disinfected after every screening. The film’s audio is broadcast over a unique radio frequency to prevent movie pirating and keep the noise down. Thus, patrons must use headphones while attending the float-ins.

The screenings do appear to be a hit with guests who have attended. Timothy Tan, a customer who would go to the movies once a week before the pandemic, was happy to have the new option.

“Wow and it’s a different type of movie that you’re going to ride a boat, ride a gondola, then watch a movie on the canal, sort of. So it’s quite exciting. So we would like to try it of course, because it (seems) fun,” Tan told the Associated Press.

Like the film industry around the world, the lockdown has caused major losses in the Philippines’ gross box office revenue — about $228 million, according to Associated Press.

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