Drive-ins are back, and Angela Whittle of The Event Express in Durban invites dealers to reward buyers of new vehicles with a trip to the drive-in, where they can enjoy the freedom their new wheels bring via old-school entertainment that meets all new social distancing norms.
“Watching a movie from your car — either with the family or that someone special — was for many generations the most enjoyable part of owning a vehicle.
“We were the first company to reintroduce this nostalgic pleasure, using the latest in digital equipment, back in February 2018,” she told Dealerfloor.
She said The Event Express has, in two years since hosting a drive-in almost every weekend, and feedback from teenage viewers shows the concept is still as popular with young people today as it was when their grandparents were necking on the back seat.
“What’s more, drive-ins are tailor-made for social distancing, being out in the open where the ‘three Ds’ that determine viral infections — distance, dosage and dispersion — are all optimal to prevent sharing our airborne viruses.
She said their experience over the past two years showed there is a huge demand for this “old school entertainment”, but the best proof is that The Event Express has imitators in Parkflix and the Mother City Drive-in.
To stay ahead, The Event Express now offers dealers bulk discounts on movie-tickets to offer their buyers of new cars.
“We are already planning an event for a Toyota dealership, and we are quite excited about sharing the fun of watching a movie through your windscreen — or leaning back on it, or even sitting on a picnic blanket,” she said.
Modern technology also means there is none of the irritations from original drive-ins, from speakers that did not work, to the film jumping, or even burning through because of a too hot lamp.
“We use a long distance data projector that beams the movie on to a 12x9-metre inflatable screen, with sound broadcast straight into the car’s radio. For those who remember original drive-ins, our experience is like the difference between listening to a stretched cassette and a new CD, for those who remember cassettes!”
Because the screen is inflatable and the projector and sound equipment are all small enough to fit on a desk, the company has shown movies at venues ranging from a roof-top to the beach, both for corporate events and year-end functions.
“While we offer dealers bulk discounts for tickets in the range of R120 per person or R250 per vehicle, we can also tailor events to any need, bearing in mind our basic hire fee for the equipment and staff is R25 000.
“Best is to simply call me or pop me an email (simply Google Coastal Conferences). Say Dealerfloor sent you and let us structure an exclusive deal for your new car buyers to enjoy the freedom their new wheels bring.”
It does not take long to realise that the person on the other side of the telephone is a remarkable woman, someone who knows the motor trade by heart and defiantly not a pushover.
There is no substitute for hard work with passion, doing the things you love.
As the most awarded Volvo dealership in South Africa, TCM is the current South African Volvo Car Dealer of The Year as well as Service Dealer of the Year. Their secret? Making sure their focus is on their people.