Cinema

Christmas drive-in cinema at Margam Park told to close days after opening despite Welsh Government go ahead

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A drive-in cinema event has been told to close despite the Welsh Government saying it could go-ahead.

The festive event had been scheduled to take place at Margam Country Park, in Port Talbot, throughout December with a host of Christmas films on offer.

Hosted by The Gower Dough Co, a pizza business set up by Craig Bevan and Beki Burnside in January, it included screenings of festive favourites including Elf, Love Actually, Home Alone and It’s a Wonderful Life.

Welsh Government restrictions currently allow drive-in cinemas and theatres to open “where those responsible take all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus”.

The guidance also sets out that “those attending should avoid leaving the vehicle while at the premises”.

The event had been organised by The Gower Dough Co

But on Monday, Neath Port Talbot Council requested that the event came to an end as the county currently has one of the highest infection rates in Wales and the UK.

The event only got under way last week, with screenings listed throughout the run-up to Christmas.

A statement on The Gower Dough Co’s social media read: “Although Welsh Government are happy for us to remain open, local government of Neath Port Talbot have asked us to close with immediate effect due to high numbers in the area.

“We know many of you will be disappointed, as we are.

“Please allow us to process this information before responding to queries.”

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The owners explained that those who had bought tickets would be refunded within 48 hours.

Neath Port Talbot Council said that letting the drive-in event continue “was not consistent” with its messaging in regards to “minimising social mixing”.

A spokesman for the council said: “Neath Port Talbot Council took the position that continuing with the drive-in cinema nights was not consistent with the messaging we are putting out over minimising social mixing given the county borough has one of the highest infection rates in Wales and the UK and the fact that hospitals in the region are now being impacted by rising coronavirus cases.”

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