Fresh off the return of Tel Aviv’s legendary drive-in theater on Tu B’Av  (August 5), the Tel Aviv-Yafo municipality is launching Israel’s first “sail-in” floating cinema at Yarkon Park’s boating lake.

The coronavirus outbreak has proved particularly challenging for the cultural sector worldwide, with outdoor initiatives representing almost the sole solution for cultural events.

Following Health Ministry approval for open-air drive-in events, Tel Aviv-Yafo will launch a “sail-in” floating cinema under the clear night sky from August 22-28, in partnership with Tel Aviv Cinematheque.

“The coronavirus crisis poses new challenges for the Tel Aviv-Yafo municipality, including bringing cultural life to a halt in the city,” said Mayor Ron Huldai.

“During recent months, we have been constantly examining ways of providing assistance. The initiative to screen movies at Yarkon Park’s boating lake is another creative way to spend the hot August days, in accordance with Health Ministry guidelines.”

The Tel Aviv drive-in movie theater at the Shlomo Group Arena. Photo by Amir Yakoby

A total of 70 socially distanced boats will be available to moviegoers — adults and children alike — seeking to enjoy a night of cinematic entertainment under the stars.

The distanced boats are positioned opposite a large screen, ensuring a safe and fun experience, and allowing all ticketholders to float away and unwind from the daily grind for at least a few hours.

The floating movie theater is open only to city residents. Tickets for eight screenings — four suitable for families and four suitable for adults — will be available exclusively to DigiTel Resident Card holders.

The launch of the “sail-in” floating cinema joins a long list of municipal initiatives launched in recent months to support cultural activity in the city.

Other initiatives have included intimate outdoor performances in restaurants and cafés; online and open-air cultural events in accordance with Health Ministry guidelines; outdoor guided tours across the city; fitness classes on the roof of the municipality building; and musical performances on the roof of the Eretz Israel Museum.

Tel Aviv’s Tropical Garden. Photo by Kfir Ziv

In addition, the city is offering a special wedding package to assist couples whose wedding plans have been disrupted by Covid-19.

Couples may apply to celebrate their special day with up to 20 attendees, free of charge, in picturesque locations across the city: The Tropical Garden, Rock Garden, Sporteque, Wohl Amphitheater (Ganei Yehoshua Park), Menachem Begin Park, Botanical Garden and Old Train Station.

The sites can be booked for wedding ceremonies six days a week. The municipality will provide tables, chairs, white tablecloths and electricity.

Listen to the Deputy Mayor of Tel Aviv Municipality, Zippi Brand Frank talk to ISRAEL21c Editor, Nicky Blackburn about the future of cities in the wake of Covid-19.