Words Marisa Cutillas, Photography Courtesy of Autocine Málaga Metrovacesa
Words Marisa Cutillas, Photography Courtesy of Autocine Málaga Metrovacesa

“I grew up in Oklahoma and Missouri, and I just loved film. My folks would take us to the drive-in on summer nights, and we’d sit on the hood of the car. I just had this profound love for storytelling” – Brad Pitt

If you’ve ever watched a film like Grease, The Outsiders, or Cinema Paradiso in a drive-in theatre, then you know that this experience offers a unique sense of elation, freedom, and excitement. The food, ambience, people, and starry night sky all take on a protagonism that is absent in the far-more-staid world of indoor cinema. Those who are there for the movie can keep their eyes glued to the enormous screen while munching on popcorn and sipping on a drink. Meanwhile, teens and adults who are into mingling can meet at the food area.

Having grown up in Australia and caught films like Gallipoli (Peter Weir, 1982) in a drive-in, in my adult years I missed the sense of fun and independence that outdoor cinema guaranteed. I was, therefore, over the moon when I learned that Autocine Málaga Metrovacesa, the second largest drive-in theatre in Europe, had opened in October last year. The entrepreneurs behind the project, Tamara Istambul and Cristina Porta, launched their first drive-in five years ago (Autocine Madrid) and they have an ambitious plan to expand throughout the province of Andalucía.

An Impressive 16,000 m2 Of Fun

Autocine Málaga, which is located at the Polígono Industrial Guadalhorce, measures 16,000m2 and boasts a gigantic 250m2 screen, a 250-vehicle capacity, and 200 additional seats in front of the screen for those who prefer to enjoy their movies ‘Cinema Paradiso-style’. That’s the whole fun of Autocine Málaga: you don’t even need a car to enjoy an evening under the stars.

What Will You Find at Autocine Málaga Metrovacesa?

Set aside the whole day to enjoy this venue to the full. The full gamut of experiences to opt for include:

Film Projections

In the drive-in area, you can catch newly released movies that are also showing in conventional cinemas. However, Autocine also has a host of special film cycles focusing on genres like children’s cinema, horror, and classic cinema. The latter is a big hit with audiences, as it comprises films you could watch a million times over – think Grease or Dirty Dancing! To see what’s on, check out the company’s website and buy tickets online or at the venue. The venue has been celebrating a music festival that started in September and will end in mid-October, when the new cinematic season will commence once again.

You can simply programme the sound through your car radio, choosing Spanish or Original Version audio. In the summer, you can enjoy the film in the seating area. Another popular area is the restaurant zone, where you can have a meal or drinks while watching your chosen film. You can also order food from your car or at the seating area.

The Food Area

Autocine Málaga Metrovacesa has an impressive, 3,000m2 dining area, where you will be tempted by many varieties of food. There is the classic American DINER (which is all-American, from its décor right through to its menu), as well as various food trucks and a pet-friendly dining zone.

Rita’s Málaga

Every weekend, the venue will be hosting events in the food zone, featuring live music, DJs, food trucks, and a chill-out area. Moreover, Rita’s Brunch will be taking place every Saturday and Sunday. For further information on this and similar events, pay a visit to Autocine’s website and buy your tickets beforehand.

La Terraza De Autocine By Rita’S Night

Autocine has a special zone that is independent of the rest of the venue; one that has a unique vibe. This zone offers the DINNER AND DANCE experience from 8pm to 2am every Friday. Head to this spot with your date or your group of friends, and enjoy a marvellous dinner and drinks, then dance to music spun by top DJs. I had a look at the menu and it tempted me with gourmet croquetas, vegetable gyozas, salchichón tartar, corvina ceviche, grilled octopus, beef and pork dishes, and a myriad of desserts. To reserve a table and enjoy an à la carte Mediterranean meal, Tel: 680 999 117.

Unique Events

During its first year, Autocine hosted numerous events (including business events, awards ceremonies, fundraising events, and festivals). The venue has a 12,000-person capacity and one of the largest screens in Europe, which makes it ideal for important events. The establishment can also be hired out for parties or weddings (including Las Vegas-style Elvis weddings).

Enjoy an electronic music festival with renowned DJs every Sunday until October 16. It starts at 1pm and continues until 12am. Throughout the day, you can enjoy activities and games, or chill out at the rest zone. Tickets cost €20.

Izal Live

On October 20, Autocine will be holding its first big concert, with famed Madrid-based band, Izal, taking centre stage. The band will be playing its last few concerts this autumn since its members have decided to go their separate ways. At the end of October, they will be saying goodbye forever, so don’t miss out on this emotive concert if you’re a fan.

As mentioned, film season starts from mid-October onwards. There are many more surprises you can keep abreast of by regularly checking out the company’s website.