Getting out to see a movie is a luxury we haven’t experienced in a long time thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Theaters in the U.S. have been shut down in compliance with state and local health guidelines, forcing people to watch DVDs or stream movies at home. Recently, drive-ins have turned into venues for live-streamed concerts, and businesses and community organizations have created impromptu drive-in theaters in their parking lots.
Now imagine a movie experience that takes the drive-in one step farther: a boat-in movie! Even better, this new nautical form of entertainment will happen right on the Seine, the storied river that runs through the heart of Paris.
The event, Le Cinema Sur L’Eau, or Cinema on the Water, is scheduled for July 18. A large screen — 52-by-29 feet! — will be built along the shore, and 38 electric boats will carry 150 people to enjoy a movie night on the river.
The free tickets will be distributed to residents via a lottery. Boats will carry up to six people per party to help maintain social distancing. The open lottery runs through July 15, and winners will be notified by email.
In addition to the 150 seats available on the water, another 150 deck chairs will be placed along river banks for people to watch “Le Grand Bain,” a 2018 comedy about a depressed man who joins a middle-aged, all-male synchronized swimming team.
During this festival, which runs from July 18 through Aug. 30, event organizers transform urban areas along the river banks into sandy beach areas where residents can stroll in the sunlight, sit in a hammock, play some beach volleyball or maybe even build a sandcastle or two. Not a bad way to spend a summer day in Paris!