Guests enjoyed a movie while floating on the waters of the Seine, under the stars. 

Summer 2020 has brought out many innovative ideas worldwide for people to enjoy their favorite pastimes while social distancing. We have seen individual dining pods, yoga in a bubble, virtual vacations, and a resurgence of the practically extinct drive-in movie theater.

The pandemic has breathed new life into a once defunct business; drive-ins have popped up in mall parking lots and Walmart using inflatable screens, while older permanent drive-in facilities have seen more business than they have in years. 


Earlier this month in Paris, France, some lucky theatergoers got to partake in a unique take on the drive-in theater experience. On the evening of July 18, a little over 200 Parisians boarded almost 40 electric boats and gathered on the Seine River to watch a film, while 150 more watched from deck chairs set up on the riverbank. A first for the city of Paris, the  "Cinema Sur L'Eau," or "Cinema on Water," was part of a celebration to mark the reopening of the country’s movie theaters after almost five months of closure. 

Family groups of up to six people gathered on each boat, which were equipped with chairs. The movie screening was free, as part of the celebration of reopening Paris, and attendees watched Le Grand Bain (“Sink or Swim”), a comedic film about a group of middle-aged men who join a synchronized swimming team. The event was scheduled to coincide with the start of the annual Paris Plages, the yearly event where riverbanks are converted to a temporary seaside resort. The event will be subdued and modified this year due to the pandemic. The hope from organizers was to start to restore a sense of normalcy after months of uncertainty and return to enjoying the gifts Paris has to offer. 

"…after the few months of confinement, we thought we needed a way to tell to the people and to tell to the world that cinemas are open in Paris, that Paris is one of the worldwide capital of cinema, and also to create a way for them to enjoy with their families a magnificent night," said Elisha Karmitz, CEO of MK2 Cinemas.

By all accounts, the event was a success and enjoyed by all. It is likely we may see more of these floating cinemas pop-up; it is a unique concept that will appeal to many. With so many summer activities and festivals canceled, vacations turned into staycations, and a general sense of cabin fever, a floating cinema sounds just about perfect!

Would you go to a floating cinema if one came to your area? What is the most creative drive-in or socially distant movie theater set up you have seen during the pandemic? Give us the details in the comments.