Film review: The Galileo Drive In cinema, Cape Town and the Cape Winelands, 2021

What: The Galileo Drive In, Cape Town and the Cape Winelands
When: Friday to Sundays – scheduled to continue into winter 2021 Tickets: from R75-R125 per person The Galileo Rentals– host your own Website: Movie hot-line: 071 471 8728 available on show days Info:    

Last weekend, we attended The Wavescape Film Festival at The Galileo Drive In, at Jan van Riebeeck Sportveld. It was a pleasure in every way. Entry into the venue is seamless. Ticket bar codes are scanned through the window. There is no need to get out the vehicle or interact with a human. If one did want to lower the window, there was a fabulous goodie bag and a free cloth mask on offer. The hemp bags – made by Save Our Seas Foundation– included an iced biscuit, pack of cards and information about saving our seas. An attendant guided cars, according to size, into parking bays. There is the option to park with the boot open [if a hatchback set up is available] and one can sit open air. There is also the option to sit next to vehicles. In Covid, social/physical distancing is strictly enforced. The idea is to stay in one’s bubble. Movie audio is through car radio on 108fm. The sound worked immediately. Patrons are invited to enjoy music, before the film on kfm- one of the sponsors of The Galileo. If one does not want to drain the car battery (make sure, that you ensure that you in correct mode), then radios are available for hire: Rent a Radio at R40 a pop.  Talking of pop, snacks are on sale – popcorn R30; candyfloss R30; sweets and chocs R20; Pringles R20, coldrinks and water R20 and hot drinks R20. These treats are reasonably priced – less than one might expect to pay at a cinema complex.

We thoroughly enjoyed the Wavescape Film Festival. The headline film, RISS [USA] was a delight. Catch it if you can.  Director, Peter Hamblin tracks the career of surfing world champ Carissa Moore. RISS was filmed in 2019 and one wonders what would have happened if the doccie had been scheduled for shooting, in 2021, when everything was cancelled. Jeffrey’s Bay – J-Bay – is featured prominently in the doccie. Was Moore going to win the yellow jersey or not? It was nail biting to watch. J-Bay [Eastern Cape, if you don’t know] is almost like a character in this film and the thrill of the surfing competition is conveyed vividly in this compelling film which includes footage from Moore’s family archive of home movies. When she was six, she proclaimed that she just wanted to have fun surfing the world with her friends.

I reckon that even when Covid is over, The Galileo Drive In is going to be a cool way to go to the movies. It checks all the boxes of open air cinema – with added benefits. There is the warm vehicle to sit in if the weather is not great – and we know that the weather in Cape Town is rather temperamental. For those who have difficulty walking, the Drive In set-up is perfect. Many people cannot navigate outdoor venues. Getting in to a venue is a mission when you are in a wheelchair or a have pram to haul or some kind of physical challenge that makes moving difficult. I am swooning but that is how much I loved The Galileo Drive In. It was a fabulous experience. I suppose that I should not be surprised. From the inception of The Galileo team has shown a remarkable facility in presenting open air cinema. Everything works. There is a movie hot-line to call, to find out if the screening will go ahead on the night. Someone answers and tells you, ‘yes, it is a go-ahead at this stage; the wind is manageable, but let’s see in a hour.’ It is very reassuring.  Every single screening that I have attended at The Galileo has been glorious. Over the years, I have been to sites that I did not know about. It has not only been a cinema experience but about discovering other vistas in Cape Town. The Wavescape Film Festival was screened at Jan van Riebeeck Sportveld (Gardens)- fringed with stunning mountain views. We could see the blinking lights of people on Signal Hill. It was magical. We had no idea where it was [GPS was confusing] was but we followed the detailed route instructions and got there speedily. Ditch the GPS and follow the route, as emailed by The Galileo.

The Galileo Drive In is scheduled to continue into winter 2021. It gets a resounding five star rating by TheCapeRobyn as a superbly organised outdoor movie event. In addition to being Covid friendly, it is exhilarating to watch a film outdoors. Sit in vehicle, sealed in, windows closed or open the windows or sit next to vehicle. The last time I attended a Drive In, was in Joburg, yonks ago. The sound was awful. The venues were dusty and crammed with cars. It was fun – of course it was – but the movie was incidental. Sure, technology has taken the Drive In to new territory but a high level of organisation is still required. The Galileo has made the Drive In an incredible experience. It is well priced – R75-R125 a person – with a lovely range of snacks. The free cloth masks and fabric goodie bag included at The Wavescape Film Festival added to the sense of fun. Offerings may differ at other screenings, according to sponsorship for events. For The Gaileo programme info, see

The Galileo Drive In, Cape Town and the Cape Winelands. Supplied.

The Galileo Open Air Cinema

Facebook: Twitter: @Galileo_Cinema Instagram: @TheGalileo ( Contact: 071 471 8728 E-mail: Website:  

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