A 'Floating Cinema' is Headed to Houston and Austin

"Floating cinemas," a twist on drive-in theaters involving mini-boats, are coming for a limited time to multiple North American cities, including Austin and Houston, Texas.

Other cities getting pop-up movie theaters include Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Chicago, Miami, New York, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Columbus and Cincinnati, plus locations in Canada.

Houston's Floating cinema launches Sept. 9 and will last a week. Austin's boat-in (a drive-in without a parking lot) theater will offer a different kind of movie experience for a week, as well, starting Sept. 23.

At each site, 12 to 24 mini boats holding up to eight people will be spread out with social distancing in mind. A mix of Golden oldies and new releases will be shown as moviegoers enjoy free popcorn. Movie snacks and drinks will be for sale before boats set sail.

All boats will be manned by friends and family. You won't be ship mates with strangers, per COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic restrictions.

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Beyond Cinema, an Australian entertainment and event company, created the social distance-minded floating movie theater concept, which has already been tested out in Paris, France. The French event, titled  'cinéma sur l'eau' (or, cinema on the water), took place on July 18 and found 38 socially-distant electric boats gather for a screening of Gilles Lellouche's film "Le Grand Bain."

This creative way to bring back the full cinema experience builds off drive-in theaters' comeback while making up for a lack of news about typical movie theaters reopening any time soon. Besides, who's going to pass up a chance to chill on a boat with family and close friends?

There's no word yet on the exact locations of these floating cinemas, the cost of boat rentals or what specific films will be screened.

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A 'Floating Cinema' is Headed to Houston and Austin