An unexpected result of the coronavirus crisis in Prague has been the resurgence of drive-in cinemas in the city.
Absent from Prague for at least the past 20 years, drive-ins have made a big comeback in recent weeks, and there are now three major venues across the city.
We spoke with Jakub Dostál from one of those cinemas, Autokino Strahov, to get an idea about what the future holds for drive-in cinema in Prague and what we can expect this summer at Strahov.
Located at the historic but now-abandoned Strahov Stadium, one of the largest stadiums in the world, Dostál describes the feeling of the drive-in as a “post-apocalyptic” experience.
“We found this space which has been abandoned for many years, it’s very close to the Prague Castle between Prague 5 and Prague 6 on top of the hill next to the biggest stadium in the world, I think it holds 250,000 people,” Dostál told us.
“I mean it’s been used during the communist times, it’s been used for these massive gatherings of people who’ve been exercising together which is known under the name ‘Spartakiada.’
“There’s this really nice abandoned parking place, so we just thought why don’t we revive it, reincarnate it for the summer when a lot of us cannot travel, so why don’t we make a nice place here in the in the heart of Prague. We started screening movies and also turned it into a bar and we’re doing fresh burgers on the grill as well.”
While no longer used for sporting events, Prague’s Strahov Stadium is frequently cited as the biggest in the world, with a capacity for 250,000 people.
The venue has also been fittingly considered as the site of Prague’s proposed Museum of 20th Century Totalitarianism.
Patrons don’t even need to own a car to visit the drive-in, as organizers have also made space for walk-in visitors as well.
According to Dostál, 90% of the films screened will be English-friendly, with English subtitles for Czech-language features.
See our previous article about Autokino Strahov for more information about the drive-in cinema.