A series of drive-in films planned for Pacifica | Culture & Leisure

What started as an escape from the COVID-19 pandemic, an outdoor movie night has gained traction and continues to thrive despite the return of many in-person events.

In 2020, the world was dealing with the collective trauma of long-term isolation. Life as we knew it seemed to come to an abrupt end, with no end in sight. Half Moon Bay resident Julie Mell was one of many to lose their jobs due to the creative industries shutdown, but after 20 years in the film industry, she took action.

“…At the time, all I did was read the newspaper about deaths, illness and unknowns,” she said. “Then I started reading about pop-ups in so many other countries and communities, and I said to my husband, ‘How come all the other communities have a drive-in (movie) pop-up, and not us?'”

Mell took it upon herself to realize it. Her Beach Break Entertainment has become a stronghold of the local creative community.

“It’s been a remarkable two years,” Mell said. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.”

The drive-in movies were a hit. By creating a communal space to watch a movie and promoting safety by requiring attendees to stay in their cars with the windows open, Mell devised a way for people to come together in a time when health issues made it impossible. not.

“All of my young adult life up until now, I’ve wanted to own a movie theater and I never imagined it could happen,” Mell said. “I was always told that it was not financially feasible. But outdoor movies, to me, are unique and fun. It gives people something to do and it’s been great. This is a dream come true for me and was a blessing to have during COVID for families.

Since its inception, Mell and his team have hosted 42 events and recently expanded to Pacifica. Last spring and summer, Beach Break Entertainment hosted eight movie nights in the Sea Bowl parking lot before the bowling alley reopened. Now they’ve partnered with Kimco Realty and Linda Mar Mall management on Linda Mar Boulevard and Highway 1 to use the back parking lot as a drive-in site.

“They painted the wall white and the same day they covered the windows and we’re going to project onto the huge wall,” Mell said. “It’s really a fun and awesome setup. It’s not traditional, but it’s very unique.

The series, “An Evening Under the Stars in Your Cars,” will consist of four drive-in movie nights beginning at sunset, between 8 p.m. is. lot, near North American Title Co. and Bank of America.

The first film, May 7, will be “Sing 2” preceded by a short film, “Mermaids on Mars” written and directed by Nancy Guietter, owner of Nancyland’s Kids and Baby, a new children’s boutique in the mall. Prior to the screening of the film, Guietter will be offering mermaid specials at the store and makeup.

“The Princess Bride” will be screened on June 4; “Spiderman: No Way Home” on July 2; and “West Side Story” on August 6.

Beach Break Entertainment is also looking to partner with local non-profit organizations. Volunteers from the organization will participate in the work of each of the events, helping participants to park, and in exchange, the association is compensated. Participants also have the option of making a donation. To date, Beach Break Entertainment has raised over $15,000 for organizations.

For more information on the collaboration, or if you are interested in sponsoring the organization, visit the website above.

Andrea G. Henderson