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Girl About Sussex Reviews Tulleys Drive In Cinema

Tulleys Farm in Turners Hill, West Sussex, is known for its legendary ShocktoberFest, the world-famous Scream Park. Every autumn, the UK’s number one Halloween event attracts thousands of visitors, including celebrities, from all over the country.

Set in heart of the Sussex countryside, Tulleys hosts other seasonal events throughout the year, including Christmas and Easter extravaganzas, but it is also home to a quaint Tea Room and a Farm Shop selling local produce.

Tulleys never fails to surprise locals with its latest attractions and events, so I was thrilled to see their new venture for the ‘Covid Summer’ was an Americana themed Drive In Cinema.

My family and I went to check it out a few days after it opened and I chose The Muppets (2011) because quite frankly, I am sick of watching cartoons, particularly Frozen 2!

The Drive In: 

We drove up the track to the check-in booths and there were two lanes for stress-free queuing. We were welcomed by a massive flashing ‘drive-in’ neon sign and then greeted by a delightful American girl. Her accent and the ambiance instantly transported us to the other side of the pond, like we had driven straight into America in the 1950s.

Wearing gloves and from a distance, she zapped the QR code on my phone and gave us our Sephia Bluetooth speaker and parking spot number, along with a one-page leaflet clearly detailing everything we needed to know.

We could order food and drinks directly to our car and we could use the outdoor space to the left of our vehicle. Some cinema-goers had set up their areas with chairs, but as we were on a little grassy area, we just put down some blankets. Car spaces are laid out so there is no one directly behind you and everyone has a clear view of the screen. There was plenty of space beside our car and we could all socially distance with ease. The leaflet even reminded guests to be respectful when using the posh (and immaculately clean) porter loos, complete with hand sanitising stations.

The Set-up:

Tulleys is renowned for its meticulous organisation, and we were directed by a member of staff to our allocated spot. The whole process was swift and smooth. We noticed a man walking to the front of the cars, welcoming everyone, and it was actually Tulleys’ owner, Stuart. He told us that there are two drive-in LED cinemas – The Arena and The Junk Yard – showing up to eight different movies a day.

The two screens offer contrasting experiences. Screen 1 (The Arena) is 10m x 6m and in the evening, you can watch the sunset behind over the Surrey Hills. Screen 2 (The Junk Yard) is 5m x 3.5m and is more intimate – perfect for that Sandy and Danny Grease style date night!

The extensive movie schedule for the summer includes a wide array of movies from Moana, to 50 Shades of Grey, to Stephen King’s IT and even West End musicals.

Stuart explained that during the lockdown, the team came up with the idea of an outdoor cinema. It was a natural fit for the land and also allows visitors to have fun, whilst remaining socially distanced. The first week has been received so well that they are looking to extend it to the ‘spooky season’, screening Halloween movies outside….in the dark….surrounded by woodland! Count me in!

The Sound:

The Sephia A11 portable wireless speaker offered clear stereo sound and gave the freedom to set the volume to a comfortable level. As the children wanted to go in and out of the car during the movie, it was light enough to move with them. The sound was pitch-perfect both in and out of the car and the speaker operated flawlessly.

The Diner:

Tulleys have carefully chosen to partner with Bentley’s Steakhouse from Bexhill-on-Sea in East Sussex, a restaurant they also use as a supplier for their Shocktoberfest events. Food is ordered virtually through your parking spot’s designated QR code and is delivered by golf buggy. Food choices include hot dogs, cheeseburgers, chicken wings, and fries. Halfway through the film, a friendly employee came around carrying hot, fresh popcorn which you could purchase. You can also order alcoholic drinks via the code – as long as you have your ID.


The Cost:

Cheaper than a cinema ticket per person if you fill your car up, and quite honestly a much more enjoyable movie experience, the pricing is fair. During the day, prices start from £15 per car, up to £35 per car for a front-row premium spot. In the evening, prices start from £25 per car, up to £45 per car for a front-row premium spot.

The Tulleys Drive In movie experience is running until 6 September 2020, so I highly recommend y’all book now. It really is a perfect outing this summer, with or without the kids. At a time when we can’t really venture very far, for a few hours, we had all escaped to the USA during a time gone by. We loved it. Oh, and The Muppets were on fine form as always!

To book, visit www.tulleysdriveincinema.co.uk

For all other events at Tulleys Farm, visit www.tulleysfarm.com.

Photos by www.chalkywhitephotography.com

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