TOPIC: Business | How To
Make Money Hosting Drive-In, Outdoor and Open-air Events
Pop-Up Cinema Open Spaces

These kinds of events from classic Drive-Ins to full-blown Concerts are making a comeback and we think they are here to stay. Sure they have resurfaced with a vengeance out of the desire for entertainment during a pandemic but who’s to say it won’t be part of the “new normal.” So, why shouldn’t you make money hosting Outdoor cinema events?

Business savvy owners are “pivoting” so much they’re like the Tasmanian devil from Bugs Bunny cartoons.

They are literally reinventing the wheel, or at least what you can do on four wheels, or a socially distanced bean bag chair. We all think the same thing when it comes to Drive-in but can you envision a Boat-in. (It’s happening, man!) What about a Silent event?  No, it’s not a pre “talky” film because in our world video didn’t kill the radio star. (Are these references showing my age?)


The equipment required for these kinds of events varies depending on the location of your venue, the size of your screen (sorry guys, in this circumstance size does matter) and the number of viewers. Some do a “Silent” style screening where the filmgoers are given FM radio headsets, like on the beach so it doesn’t disturb the posh waterfront residents in the area. If it’s a drive-in the audience just tunes their radio to the specific channel you have set on your FM transmitter and they are good to go in the comfort and safety of their own vehicle.

PRO TIP: Depending on the size and location of your venue experts suggest when using larger venues to raise the screen. Creating a stage or platform might be necessary for the viewers in the back to be able to see. The venue might have a natural hill or mound that could be explored for the exact location of the screen.


As you can see from these layouts, some drive-ins offer a canteen and others offer food trucks or food delivery service right to your car…or boat. Yep, we said boat again. Got a nice piece of waterfront and boating neighbours looking for something to do? Whatever piece of real estate you have access to, you too can host a pop-up cinema drive-in, boat-in, whatever! If all this has got you intrigued then you are probably asking yourself, “What Now..?”

Got a “space” and want to make money with it?

Whether it’s a field, parking lot, piece of waterfront, abandoned building, rooftop or terrace, you can likely use it to make money.

It’s vital you partner with a reputable pop-up cinema company and when contacting them, be sure to ask specific questions. We’ve covered these areas and more in more detail in the download:

  • licensing
  • insurance
  • weather
  • staffing
  • signage
  • promo materials
  • pre-show options

Are you a screen owner looking for venues?

Got the equipment but no venue and want to start providing services and hosting events?

In the download, we expand on the following areas. Each step provides suggestions to help you to get proactive about maximizing your revenue.

  1. getting listed
  2. reputation management
  3. digital footprint
  4. crafting proposals
  5. getting leads 

Need more help?

We’ve done the hard yards so you don’t have to. We offer one-one online consulting for new owners or for existing owners who need extra help or advice. Our “20 for 20” zoom consultation sessions are 20 minutes for just $20.

Are you a POP-UP Cinema owner?

Stop suffering from FOMO and get listed on the Pop-Up cinema directory! With all the increased traffic you are going to have to deal with you may have to hire car guards. Click the button, choose your package, fill in the form, upload your images and you’re good to go! And don’t worry, you can actually preview your listing before you commit…
because we all know commitment can be scary.

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