The American concept of catching the latest movie in an outdoor theatre on warm summer evenings reached its apogee with the Drive-In cinema in the 1960s. This of course was a natural fit for a country that has had a long love affair with the automobile. What is not quite so well known is that Spain and Marbella too, has its own version—but here it follows Spanish cultural patterns and involves a trip to the beach to watch the Hollywood stars on screen while relaxing under the star-lit night sky, rather than sitting in a giant parking lot. The Cine de Verano (summer cinema) is a decades old tradition celebrated across the Mediterranean, but particularly in Andalucía and the Costa del Sol. It is an experience that peaked during the 1960s, when Córdoba opened as many as 30 open air cinemas—although parks and other outdoor spaces were the venue rather than beaches in the inland city. Apart from the fact that it was often free or at least offered at a very modest price, the people enjoyed outdoor cinema because it brought communities together at night time—the best time to be outside during the long summer months. So while Americans shut themselves away in cars, Spaniards gregariously used the outdoor cinema as a way to meet up with friends and family for a social experience. However, with modern lifestyles and other entertainment options freely available, open air cinemas aren’t such a common occurrence anymore. People now have less time to go to the comfortable air-conditioned indoor theatres, let alone an outdoor one. However, many of the trendy holiday resorts of the Costa del Sol have maintained the tradition and continue to host screenings in the summer months on the beaches. In Marbella the tradition had fallen into disuse by the 1980s—until last year that is. After a successful inauguration of ‘Cine bajo las estrellas’ (Cinema under the Stars)—a month long cycle of screenings on Marbella’s beaches—the popular event will be returning. Last year’s hosts, La Bajadilla beach in Marbella and La Salida in San Pedro Alcántara, will be joined by Pinomar beach in Las Chapas. The cinemas are free to all, but are expected to fill up quickly—so make sure you get there early to grab your seats. This year, the famed Starlite Festival will also be hosting its own cycle of luxury open air movie screenings in one of Europe’s largest outdoor cinemas at the Nagüeles Auditorium—an old quarry that has been converted for stage and screen use. This year’s programme features some of the best and most loved old school classics. The outdoor theatre features stadium seating with VIP areas and some impressive cinema acoustics. The screenings began on July 17th, but don’t fret if you missed out, more shows are planned, so you have plenty of time to book your place. Most major cities and towns on the Costa del Sol will be hosting open-air screenings, including Málaga, Estepona, Benalmádena and Fuengirola to name a few. So wherever you are this summer, find out about your local Cine de Verano and spend movie night on the sandy shore beneath the stars. The beach cinemas are a manifestation of the laid-back lifestyle of Marbella and the Costa del Sol. Should you wish to be a part of this way of life, please contact Altavista Property—we have a fine selection of villas and apartments for sale in the area. Programme details for Marbella’s ‘Cine bajo las estrellas’ can be found here and those for the Starlite Festival here.
Catch the Hollywood Stars at Night in Marbella