Web Design London
22 / 12 / 2020

Case Study: Drive-Ins

Most of us missed out on the golden age of drive-ins and are now surrounded by endless opportunities. They have exponentially increased in popularity recently, however, they date back as early as the 1930’s

In an age where crowded events, crowded venues and even crowded outdoor areas were a norm, Covid-19 brought about a completely different outlook on these commonalities. 

And the sudden drive-in popularity is understandable given the current circumstances – it’s one of the few activities that can take place in a socially distanced, contained manner, whilst still providing a form of shared entertainment. The number of drive-in cinemas soared from just 3 at the beginning of the year, to over 40 in the summer of 2020, not including the huge surge in Christmas drive-ins. 

NOQ came to tackle the problem of queuing at outdoor events. However, having launched in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, our target market pivoted, and we pivoted with them. Since our launch in July of 2020, NOQ has participated in over 150 events, and it’s fair to say that most of them were drive-ins. Here are some of 2020’s memorable events:

Bollyco Drive-in


The Bollywood Co offers all kinds of experiences regarding Bollywood. This year, in partnership with UKAFF (UK Asian Film Festival), they created an immersive Bollywood drive-in experience. 

Besides showcasing Bollywood classics on the big screen, the events included a live Bollywood dance performance as well as some delicious Indian food.

The NOQ app played a big role at the event, as stated by Dr Pushpinder Chowdhry, Founder at UKAFF “The app is extremely user friendly and the team delivered our brief perfectly.” Additionally as mentioned by the Project Manager Amandeep Dhillon, it helped “keep in line with social distancing measures”.

Cinestock Drive-In


2020 was Cinestock’s 8th year of providing the drive-in experience, however this year, a special emphasis was placed on this type of outing. 

Cinestock have created a weather-proof solution, by hosting it indoors. Everything within this space is laid out in a socially distant manner, and the lighting in the venue gives it an additional cozy atmosphere. 

During the summer, they hosted movie classics as well as comedy shows, and for Christmas, of course Christmas classics are on the list, but the kids get to enjoy the much-loved pantomimes from the comfort of their cars. 

“The NOQ app based ordering is unique and easy to use, providing increased safety at our events” says Oliver Tully, the owner & founder at Cinestock. “It is well laid out and clear, as well as straightforward and easy to use.”

Drive-in cinema app

Celestial Cinema

Celestial Cinema created an incredible Winter Drive-in Experience, where customers are transported into the mystical world of the Polar Express. Set in an open space in Beaconsfield, attendees experience the Christmas spirit, from the minute they drive-in. 

Christmas classics are showcased over the period of one month, and delicious food and drinks are available for all to order from the comfort of their cars.

What is needed for a successful socially distant drive-in experience?

Sourcing the right partners

  • Working with a mobile app provider like NOQ
  • Finding the right screen and tech providers
  • Sourcing delicious food & drinks vendors

Selecting the right entertainment

  • Choosing the right screenings/acts 
  • Getting customer feedback prior to selection

Clear communication ahead of the event

  • Make it easy for customers to get in touch with you and vice-versa
  • Use social media as an amplifier
  • Keep customers updated 

Communication at the event

  • Signage is key
  • Ensure rules and guidelines are clear
  • Create a hazard light policy for any issues

Food & Drinks ordering

  • Instruct customers on how the app works prior to and during the event
  • Clearly label parking slots for quicker F&B delivery
  • Offer a variety of food for all tastes

Are drive-ins here to stay?

2020 has definitely had a huge impact in the exponential rise of drive-in experiences. Although we are all socially distanced, there’s a feeling of togetherness, whether it’s being in your own car with your family or looking at other cars enjoying the same experience. 

Although most people are itching for what was once considered normalcy of large events, drive-ins may stick around for those who enjoy watching the classics or other forms of entertainment on the big screen, in the comfort of their own space. Until complete ‘normalcy’ comes back, the new normal of entertainment will likely remain in the form of socially distant drive-ins, as long as there’s some food and drinks involved!

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