Loxwood Drive-In Movies - great night out and great organisation

REVIEW: Loxwood Drive-In Movies, until Wednesday, July 22


Who would have thought that our first night out in nearly four months would involve sitting in our car in the middle of a field for three hours?

But boy, it was good. Really good. Really, really good.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

With a string of movies on offer that we’ve mostly seen before, the Loxwood Drive-In Movies organisers promised us this was always going to be much more about the overall experience.

And what an experience they gave us – everything underpinned by an eye for detail and a concern for our enjoyment that made it an excellent night out.

The staff were exceptionally friendly and smiley (you could tell despite the masks); and they operated with maximum efficiency as if they’d been doing this every day for years.

Of course, they hadn’t and that was so much part of the fun of it: the sheer novelty value, the sheer Americanness of… well, of sitting in your car in a field for three hours.

As for the film, Rocketman, the Elton John fantasy-cum-biopic, was the perfect entertainment, with Taron Egerton quite brilliant as the main man and Jamie Bell equally and very differently so as his lyricist Bernie Taupin.

With full Elton approval, it’s a pretty self-indulgent look at his rise and tumble off the rails; a look at his outrageousness and his excess, bookended by the therapy it all leads him into.

It’s his break-through years and his break-down years. And goodness, poor guy. His parents, appearing here as grotesque cruel caricatures, are absolutely appalling; ditto his exploitative manager who seemingly sees him only as the cash cow.

Elton’s conclusion is everything he did he did in the vain hope of being loved. It’s all he ever wanted – and that’s seemingly what the film is about. A few pictures and captions at the end tell us that he has finally, thankfully, achieved it.

So yes, there’s huge sentimentality to the whole thing – but at the same time it’s a film which works wonderfully, thanks to the way those classic songs are blended into the action; thanks to the sheer invention of its delivery; and thanks above all to the absolute brilliance of Egerton’s performance, uncannily like the man himself, terribly behaved but hugely likeable and yes, musically, a genius.

And of course, Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me on a beautiful summer’s evening was pretty magical.

The sound comes to you through your car radio, and is excellent. In truth, the big screen is probably the minimum size it needs to be, and possibly it ought to be a little higher (though maybe that would create problems for backseat passengers?)

Otherwise, the experience has been beautifully thought out. Once in position, you simply text your food order, choosing from a very reasonably priced menu.

Leaving the site isn’t too bad at all. You’re not stranded at the drive-in for too long before you are marshalled out. And of course, the great thing is that there are plenty more cracking films to come. Loxwood Drive-In Movies continues with a wide range of films until July 22.


A message from the Editor, Gary Shipton:

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news, I am asking you to please purchase a copy of our newspapers.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspapers.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

Stay safe, and best wishes.

Gary Shipton

Editorial Director