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Galileo Open Air Cinema and Drive In


The Galileo Open Air Cinema is approaching a decade since its first outdoor screening. A darling of the Cape Town events scene, 2020 has been a crazy time for the events company, which has had to reinvent its offering in order to roll with the changes. While you'd imagine that the Galileo would be one of the least affected events, the Galileo has taken a knock having to cut their previous season short. Already beholden to weather conditions, the coronavirus has had an adverse effect when it comes to numbers. Beyond crowd control, having your event's capacity reduced means the outdoor cinema has to get by on less when it comes to filling the house. Just like an ordinary cinema, when less tickets are sold... revenue is reduced.

While the Galileo is managing to continue its wonderful array of events around Cape Town and the winelands, it needs the help of loyal patrons to keep it going beyond the coronavirus era. Setting up the screen and hosting the event at beautiful venues around the Cape metropole requires event management and a full complement of staff. You need a competent AV team, facilitators to manage back rest and blanket distribution, a welcome person to advise on safety protocol, a box office and vendors at food stalls. The whole event takes a village for it to run smoothly. So your ticket price is going to ensuring that the screening goes ahead without a hitch over and above the hard costs of presenting a feature film in a beautiful place.

To accommodate the recent changes when it comes to capacity and social distancing, the Galileo has reinvented itself to provide three types of screening.

Galileo Picnic

The traditional Galileo event is now known as a Picnic screening, which continues to allow patrons to enjoy a picnic with family and friends before a main feature. While there are food stalls including delicious schwarmas, droolicious pizzas or gourmet coffee, you're allowed to bring your own picnic into the venue. The sweet and popcorn offering is now relayed by way of a wheelbarrow enabling the snacks to find their way to you. The film is now projected from front of house, which probably improves the vibrancy of colours on screen over rear projection and the sound seems better. It's also a good idea to take a cushion and a warm jacket because the nights can get a bit chilly.

At the rescheduled launch at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardenes, which included a bevy of media, there was a live performance from mother-daughter duet, Plumsong. Starting with a crooner version of Radiohead's Creep, the laidback picnic concert set the scene for a good season of outdoor entertainment with the Galileo. While the original launch with La La Land was postponed due to bad weather, the reinstated event was built around Sean Penn's soulful Into the Wild starring Emile Hirsch. A brilliant scrapbook character study and exploration of freedom and society against Eddie Vedder's music, this powerful true story seems that much more true to form when screened under the stars.

The traditional picnic style event continues to be a mainstay for the Galileo, but they've also added a drive in and VIP edition of the outdoor screening.

Galileo Royale

The Royale edition of the event is finding audiences attending more exclusive versions of the Galileo screening. Hosted at places like the Casa Labia, the experience is more restricted in terms of numbers and features a live performance as well as preset snacks and drinks. All of these events are amazing for romantic dates and the Royale is probably the way to impress your significant other depending on your film selection. The other variations suit families better but what's not to love about watching a movie under the stars against the backdrop of a beautiful Cape Town vista or venue.

Galileo Drive-In

The nostalgia around drive in cinemas has resurrected the event, giving many people a fresh experience and others a heavy dose of nostalgia. While the old style drive in required you to put a speaker into your car window, the newer events make it possible for you to tune in on your radio. Some people reverse their cars and open the boot for a glass-free viewing experience under the stars but it's not a big deal if your windscreen is relatively clean. Taking a portable radio is probably a good idea if you don't want to jumpstart your car to get home.

To stand a chance of winning a double ticket to a picnic event at the Galileo including a back rest and blanket (valued at R260!), tell us which event you'd most like to attend. You can find out more details about the upcoming season's screening schedule here.