The Queen is opening her royal estate to a drive-in cinema this autumn

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Anna Brech
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Outdoor cinema fans can rev up for a fresh round of alfresco films this autumn, as a drive-in opens in the atmospheric grounds of Sandringham Estate. 

First the Queen’s story came to life on the small-screen in hit Netflix series The Crown – and now the monarch is bringing the relationship full-circle by inviting fans of the big-screen to the grounds of her home in Sandringham, Norfolk. 

The historic estate of Sandringham is opening its doors to a pop-up cinema experience this autumn, with the launch of a drive-in event in the gardens of the royal country retreat. 

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At the end of September, boutique cinema company Enchanted Cinema will be hosting a three-day film extravaganza using the world’s largest LED screen. 

The event will allow guests to drive into the parkland of Sandringham to watch films in the bucolic setting of one of Britain’s oldest and most majestic royal homes. 

Enchanted Cinema has a reputation for staging magical film events

Enchanted Cinema has a reputation for curating magical outdoor cinema experiences in beautiful and atmospheric places.

Its events typically include different pop-up bars and food stalls that change according to the film being shown. Fairy lights and scenic deckchairs are a staple part of the offering too, although – as a drive-in – the event at Sandringham will have transmitters that connect to the Bluetooth or aux in your car. Deckchairs are available for larger groups as well.

Drive-in cinema is having a comeback moment

The billing for this latest event features a hefty dose of nostalgia, with Grease, The Greatest Showman, Moana and war epic 1917 all in the mix.

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The outbreak of coronavirus is ushering in a revival of the drive-in experience: once a mainstay of the kind of all-American culture captured by Grease.

Outdoor events give organisers more flexibility to adapt to social distancing guidelines, and the drive-in element means screenings can better endure Britain’s famously unpredictable weather. 

And it’s not just happening in the UK. All over the world, drive-in cinemas are seeing a spike in popularity driven by lockdown-weary punters looking for a glimmer of respite and everyday joy.

The event will feature a pop-up bar serving cocktails, popcorn and other treats

The gardens at Sandringham were first opened to the public by King Edward VII in 1908, and Queen Elizabeth II has continued the tradition with events, tours and family trails taking place across the estate grounds.

The Norfolk country home has long been a favourite retreat for the royal family, including Meghan Markle and Prince Harry when they lived in the UK, and Kate Middleton, Prince William and their family, who live nearby in Anmer Hall. 

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In order to be environmentally conscious, the drive-in event organisers will ask guests to turn off their engines as soon as possible, and £1 from every ticket sold will be donated to the Woodland Trust and the Rainforest Alliance.

Get tickets for Sandringham’s drive-in movie experience here.

Images: Getty, Enchanted Cinema

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Anna Brech

Anna Brech is a freelance journalist and former editor for Her six-year stint on the site saw her develop a vociferous appetite for live Analytics, feminist opinion and good-quality gin in roughly equal measure. She enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content but has a soft spot for books and escapist travel content.

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