As we all know, from the initial government lockdown in 2020, movement was restricted to essential travel only, the message being “stay at home, save lives, protect the NHS”.  At the time, people really embraced the government’s advice, which thankfully resulted in the phased unlocking of restrictions by July 2020.

Sadly, many people felt uneasy for many reasons about mixing or socialising and the government urged people to adopt a sensible approach. What this meant beyond meeting up with family and friends was that businesses had to adapt, quickly.

Retrospectively, we now realise that these 18-months would have a disproportionate impact on the events industry. Many companies either folding or having to find ways to pivot, not only to retain clients but to open completely new sales channels.  

Repurposing our screens to be COVID safe

During the lockdown, we thought long and hard about how we could use our unique out of home (OOH) experience to meet with the needs of a country that in the most part had been unable to leave their homes.

Always willing to meet with a challenge head-on, we developed a new business which was Covid safe and allowed people some recreation. We created Blue Sky Drive in Cinema’s.

On the 4th July, Blue Sky Cinema’s launched across Yorkshire. Visitors were greeted with a smile and handed a speaker on arrival that would transmit the sound from the movie. People enjoyed socialising within their bubbles and could, if they chose, order food and drink to be delivered direct to their cars through the Blue Sky menu app.

Throughout 2020 Blue Sky Cinema’s operated drive-in cinema’s, promoting and selling tickets, handling all aspects of customer service and delivering a pandemic safe event. Even Boris provided statements on what businesses could operate and in what tiers. Helpfully, Drive in Cinemas were considered by Sage, as well as Boris, to meet with all necessary guidance.

Drive-in cinema becomes the new date night

With the outdoor event industry decimated in 2020 and 2021, creating a new safe and fun business, allowed us here at Media Displays to re-event and survive the pandemic. We’d even go as far as to say that the experience taught us a lot, including how to embrace the positives from what had been a terrible time.

We met so many characters over the months, including two people in their 80’s that arrived and stayed in their car to watch Greese. A classic film we are sure they had watched numerous times over the decades, but the difference being, this time, it was in their own personal, in car cinema.

Other momentous occasions including a proposal of marriage (they said yes!); a couple arriving with twins who were only 2 months old, fortunately babies crying didn’t affect anyone else’s enjoyment; and a lady arriving with her dog to watch The Greatest Showman.

Truth be told, the drive-in cinema became the new date night.

Capturing the positives

We are so pleased that we were in the fortunate position to pivot our business and use our product and service to give others an experience they will never forget. We can’t thank our team enough for being by our side as we navigated the challenges and rode the rollercoaster of ups and downs.

Although things were difficult at times, we got through. We kept a smile on our face and most importantly retained our values. Being in the position where we were able to deliver for our customers also meant that we now have another string to our bow.

We salute all businesses that have had to do the same as us. Resilience has made us all stronger and we have proven that with the right attitude we can capture the positives from even the most difficult of times.

For more information about Media Displays and the many imaginative ways you could use our Digi-vans please contact Ian on tel. 01226 444 700 or email: