Instead of red carpets and crowded theaters this year, HIFF offers drive-in movies

Updated: Nov. 7, 2020 at 12:05 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Hawaii International Film Festival doesn’t have any big red carpets, photo shoots or crowded theaters this year.

Instead, they’re bringing back a nostalgic movie classic: The drive-in movie.

“We’re not panicking, we’re pivoting and we’re adapting to kind of like this new normal in a way,” said Artistic Director Anderson Le.

HIFF offered a drive-in show Friday night at Ala Moana Center. About 80 cars filled the lot as people set up their trunks with pillows and blankets.

Some families said it was a chance for them to get out of the house.

“Kids don’t even know what a drive-in is right, so we just decided to bring them out and have a good time as a family,” said Shawn Yacavone, of Kaimuki, who was with his wife and two daughters.

“My son said he could watch it for free and I said why wouldn’t you want to experience this?” said Laurie Kawasaki, of Kaneohe. “This is like awesome so it’s more for me, but I’m dragging him along.”

The drive-in also brought back memories. Hawaii’s last drive-in movie theatre closed in 1998.

“It’s a sense of nostalgia, we’re slightly on the older side so we kind of remember the days of Kam drive-in and Aloha Stadium,” said Michael Furoyama, of Mililani.

In addition to drive-in movies, HIFF is offering online streaming this year.

Organizers say the drive-in experience preserves that sense of community, but ensures people can come together safely.

“For every filmmaker, it’s great to see their films on the big screen," said Le.

“So, to provide them the opportunity to do that in a safe way is something that’s totally golden for independent filmmakers here in Hawaii.”

HIFF is also hosting drive-in movie screenings at Varsity Building in Moiliili & Windward Mall.

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