SM Cinema launches the first-ever drive-in movie theater in PH

SM Cinema is at it again! Known for bringing the best movie house experiences to discerning Filipino moviegoers, it is now introducing another first in the Philippine cinema industry—movies at the comfort of cars. Moviegoers now have no excuse to catch their most awaited blockbuster movies on the big screen.

Amid the ongoing pandemic and abiding by strict public health protocols, SM Cinema has launched the ‘SM Cinema Drive-in: Movies at Sundown’ at the SM City Pampanga Amphitheater. It allows moviegoers to actually watch movies on the big screen while not breaching physical distancing rules set by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF). The first of its kind in the country, the drive-in theater creatively takes local viewers to a new horizon of movie-watching.

This unique movie-viewing experience premiered on Friday, July 31, 2020. It is open to the general public featuring the flicks ‘Train to Busan 2: Peninsula’ and ‘My Spy.’

“At SM Cinema, we have always explored new dimensions in film screenings to give our viewers the best movie-watching experience they deserve,” said SM Cinema Vice President for Marketing Ruby Ann Reyes. “Now that new norms have come to us, we do our best to meet our audience where they’re at, all while presenting a safe and innovative movie entertainment setup that’s a first in the country.”

Drive-in theaters are not actually new as those were already done abroad numerous decades ago. But with the emergence of the new normal, it could be the new norm in big-screen movie-going for an indefinite span of time.


How it works

Guests are assigned their own parking spots (there are traffic marshals to facilitate this). Once settled, the moviegoers can watch the film of their choice on a big screen (20m X 8m screen) raised about 3 feet above the ground. For the audio, they will be asked to tune in to a specific FM radio frequency (short-range, we suppose) that will broadcast the film’s audio while the guests stay inside their vehicles.

On its premiere weekend (July 31 to August 2), SM Cinema’s Movies at Sundown will have two schedules—6:30 p.m. and 8:50 p.m. In the succeeding weeks, movie-viewing will be scheduled from Thursday to Sunday, 6:45 p.m. Movie tickets will be sold for P400 per person. That is inclusive of a Regular Popcorn, bottled water, and Beef Franks from SnackTime.

#SafeAndFunMovieWatching for Filipinos

Tickets for SM Cinema’s Movies at Sundown must be purchased online in advance at This is to ensure an uninterrupted viewing experience. No tickets will be sold at the venue. Viewers are advised to arrive at least 30 minutes before their scheduled screening time.

To optimize the best view for all guests, two persons can be inside a car. A maximum of four guests per can will be allowed. All moviegoers must also be between the ages of 21 and 59 years, pursuant to the IATF’s safety guidelines. All viewers are required to stay inside their vehicles with their masks on and practice physical distancing throughout the entire duration of the movie.

SM Cinema has revealed that this unique movie viewing experience will soon be introduced in five other SM branches nationwide.