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  • Home > News > Details
    That outdoor feeling

    "I love cars and movies," he says. "I think the combination of both is fantastic. So when I came back to China I decided to bring this cultural phenomenon back with me." Over the following decade about 10 drive-in theaters opened in big cities across China, but they failed to catch on and some folded, says Yang Shuting, an analyst with EntGroup Consulting Group, an entertainment industry consultancy in Beijing.

    However, this year the drive-in appears to have captured the Chinese psyche with a sudden surge in audience numbers and new drive-ins; at least 15 theaters have opened since January, and more are planned, Yang says.

    Among them is Tongxing Drive-in in Jiujiang, province, which opened on Nov 28 and is said to have cost about 720,000 yuan ($115,547; 89,240 euros) to set up. It has one outdoor screen and can take up to 60 cars.

    Tongxing's founder, Qin Tian, decided to open the theater after visiting another drive-in and being impred by the experience. He later found that most of his friends did not know there were drive-in cinemas in China, but were interested in trying one out.

    "Almost all my friends think it is romantic and fashionable to watch movies outdoors in their own cars," he says. "You don't need to worry about bothering anyone else when you eat, talk or even smoke in your own car. When the movie ends, all the drivers hit their horns together. It's amazing."

    Yang says the sudden success of drive-ins is being helped along by their novelty far, government support for cultural industries, China's growing movie industry and a developing car .

    "The government has emphasized the development of the cultural industry and will make great efforts to help promote it, which makes many want to invest in cultural businesses," she says. "The rapid growth in both the car and movie industries makes the drive-in theater business a reasonable and promising field."

    The Ministry of Public Security says there were 110 million cars in China by the end of June, 75.62 percent of them privately owned.

    In the movie industry, the domestic box-office for the first 10 months of this year was 12.95 billion yuan, representing growth of about 26 percent, EntGroup says. Box-office for the whole year is forecast to be 18 billion yuan.

    Yang says it costs about 500,000 yuan for equipment to open a drive-in cinema with one outdoor screen, which she considers a relatively small investment.

    © Copyright 2017 Invest in Jiujiang
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