Drive In Cinema Comes To South Wharf

Wednesday December 23rd, 2020

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) has announced an Australian first, developing a new drive-in, indoor cinema concept as part of the venue’s response to the challenges the events sector has faced in 2020.

The Drive In(Door) Cinema program is being delivered in partnership with Village Cinemas, and is unique as the drive-in cinema is completely weatherproof and daytime-friendly, giving audiences more opportunities to enjoy child-friendly matinee sessions.

MCEC’s Drive In(Door) Cinema is held inside the venue’s enormous exhibition bays, normally known for housing global business events and pop-culture exhibitions.

The program has come about as part of MCEC’s ‘business relaunch’ initiative, under which the organisation is exploring new business models, products and revenue streams.

“MCEC is a heavy-hitter in Victoria’s economy, contributing more than $1 billion in economic impact to the state in the 2019 financial year,” Peter King, Chief Executive of MCEC said.

“Like many in the events sector, we have found ourselves not being able to perform our core business for much of this year, and the immediate loss of revenue has proved challenging.

“That’s why we’re exploring new ideas and ways of working, to secure MCEC’s future and to ensure the business can continue to be a driver in the State’s economic recovery,” Mr King said.

>Reflecting on the one-of-a-kind concept, Village Cinemas CEO, Kirk Edwards, said the partnership between MCEC and Village Cinemas was a fantastic way for more movie-lovers to enjoy the film experience on the big screen.

“Cinemas and live events really suffered this year, and I can’t think of a better way to support our industry than to partner to create something truly special for all families and friends to enjoy. We’re really looking forward to bringing this experience to life and providing a wonderful escape through film,” Mr Edwards said.

With MCEC’s exhibition bays currently not in use for events, the Drive In(Door) Cinema provides a unique opportunity for families, friends and couples to enjoy a trip to the cinema both day and night, while still maintaining physical distancing. The bays have space for 174 cars, and the cinema will operate under MCEC’s VenueSafe plan, with industry-leading health and safety measures in place.

The Drive In(Door) Cinema program is the latest innovation from MCEC, following recent investment in a new Virtual Events Solution and live-streaming studios, as well as hosting an idea-generation hackathon event called Unconventional Ideas.

The inaugural Unconventional Ideas, slated to be a regular fixture on MCEC’s calendar, brought together more than a hundred thought-leaders, in-house experts, customers and stakeholders to workshop and pitch business ideas for the venue to explore.

While Drive In(Door) Cinema was developed outside of this event, further promising ideas are now in the pipeline. For Drive In(Door) Cinema tickets, cost and the full program of films, visit: