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Retro Drive-In Movies say they were told they were in breach of Covid-19 regulations. Retro Drive-in
outdoor cinema

'They're as safe as you can get': Eamon Ryan says he'll find out why drive-in cinemas have been shut down

Fine Gael’s Neale Richmond said in the Dáil today that it is “absolutely ludicrous” that Retro Drive-in movies was told to close down by gardaí.

EAMON RYAN HAS told the Dáil that he will consult with the authorities and public health experts as to why a drive-in cinema was shut down under Covid-19 restrictions.

Fine Gael’s Neale Richmond said in the Dáil today that it is “absolutely ludicrous” that Retro Drive-in movies was told to close down by gardaí, and he questioned why the regulations were changed to ban them from operating.

Richmond said it is “baffling” that the outdoor cinema was forced to close, stating that it has taken the business owners by surprise, as previously, while indoor cinemas were prevented from opening, under a statutory instrument in the Health Act there was an exception for drive-in movies.

That appears to have changed now, said Richmond. 

The Dublin Rathdown TD said he had attended one of the viewings only last weekend at Leopardstown Racecourse.

It makes “no sense” for outdoor cinemas to be closed at a time when people can go back to non-essential retail, can travel outside their county, can go to the zoo and visit others outside, “but they can’t drive and watch a movie from the safety of their car”.

The minister said he wasn’t aware of the decision but said upon first hearing about the case today, it is “hard to see” how drive-in movies could be a public health risk.

He said he would speak to the authorities to see what could be done.

Drive-in movies would be “as safe as you can get”, said Ryan.

Ryan told the Dáil that Tourism Minister Catherine Martin is keen to get all cinemas and theatres reopened in a safe way. 

Cinemas and theatres are due to reopen next month.

Due to the Taoiseach being in Brussels early next week, he will make a comprehensive announcement next week on the future of the entertainment industry, hospitality, international travel and mandatory quarantine after a Cabinet meeting next Friday.

Richmond said outdoor movies provide an important economic and social boost for many people.

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