Four decades after they were banned for affording ‘too much privacy’ to young unmarried couples, the first drive-in theatre now operates underneath Tehran’s iconic Milad Tower. 

The audience buys tickets online and lines up each night, tuning into the film’s audio via an FM station on their car radios. Workers of the ‘Cinema Machine,’ as the theatre is called in Farsi, disinfect the cars before they come in.


Photo by Abedin Taherkenareh, EPA.

“It was very fascinating, this is the first time this is happening, at least for people my age,” 36-year old moviegoer Behrouz Pournezam told AP. “We are mostly here for the excitement to be honest, the movie itself didn’t matter that much. I didn’t care what movie it is or by whom or which genre.”

Iran has been reported as one of the hardest hit countries, reporting more than 100,000 cases and 6,500 deaths as of Saturday, May 9th. The country has started relaxing its strict coronavirus lockdown — to mixed response — and many are already worried about a ‘second wave’ of infection. 

Photo by Morteza Nikoubazl.

What could social lives (remember those?) and entertainment look like in a socially-distanced world? With experts projecting coronavirus measures to continue into 2022 (or until there’s a widely available vaccine) and mass gatherings and events cancelled until further notice, we’ll likely be seeing more and more relics of romantic eras popping up around the world.

Main image: Reuters.

Main square image: Abedin Taherkenareh, EPA.