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  • Shine Team

How to ensure a safe drive-in event

Updated: Feb 20, 2023

Drive-in cinemas and events have popped up all over the UK during 2020 to enable Covid compliant events to take place, and are set to stay for the foreseeable future.

Whilst the majority of these events are being run and provided by legitimate and competent companies...... Some companies are cutting corners or simply unaware of the detailed requirements of running a safe event with LED screens and structures. In this blog we look at safety aspects you need to consider when hiring a LED video screen for your drive-in cinema and some worthwhile questions you may wish to ask any potential supplier.


LED screen supported by temporary event structure (Ballast provided by ground anchors)
LED Video Screen

LED video screens are complex, expensive pieces of equipment with thousands of individual electronic components. They are also very heavy when used to create large video screens required for drive-in cinemas. Here are our few key considerations and questions worth asking your potential supplier...

  1. Does the screen meet EU/UK requirements? Almost all LED screens are manufactured in China. Not all manufactures build their screens to the same standards and quality varies massively. For use in the UK the screen should be 'CE' marked with EMC compliance. Your screen supplier should be able to provide documentation confirming the screen has been manufactured to the required standards. Unfortunately cheaper imported screens often do not have EMC compliance which could fall foul of UK law and cause interference issues with other electronic equipment.

  2. Weight? LED screens are made up of individual panels to make a large single screen. The larger the screen the more the screen will weigh. It is not unusual for a 10m by 5m (50sqm) screen to weigh in excess of 1500 kg. With so much heavy equipment being used near to members of the public it is essential the equipment is installed and used correctly. See below for more information about structure requirements. Your screen provider should be competent in the installation of the LED screen and associated hardware.


LED Gate Structure - Drive In Cinema - Shine Cinema
Truss LED Gate Temporary Structure
 Drive In Cinema - Shine Cinema
Layher Temporary Event Structure (Concrete blocks)
Temporary Structures

A temporary structure is vital to support the video screen. It is important to get the video screen high enough off the ground to enable your audience to see it clearly especially with drive-in cinemas where cars infront can obscure the view. These are often referred to as 'Temporary event structures, stage structures or LED gate structures'.

There are a range of options available to safely support a LED video. Whichever method you choose it is vital to do it correctly as a screen or structure collapsing can cause large amounts of damage and potential loss of life, not to mention your event coming to a instant hault.


Your supplier needs to be able to provide the correct documents to demonstrate the structure is safe to use and can support the large weights involved. Often referred to as a 'Structural Report' this document is provided by a qualified engineer and ensures the structure can...

  1. Safely support its own weight and the weight of the screen.

  2. Will stay structurally sound and intact when additional forces are added to the structure and screen such as wind.

  3. Provide important information such as additional ballast (weights) required to be added to the structure to ensure it can not slide, move or topple over.

Many venues and councils will ask the event organizer for this document to confirm the structure is safe to use. Without the document any insurance policies you or the supplier have maybe void.

Additional documents include:

Wind Management Plan - This is an essential document which highlights what actions need to take place when certain wind speeds are reached. This includes the maximum wind speed the structure and screen can be used safely in. Beyond this wind speed the event would need to be cancelled or postponed. It is important to understand the document as it may effect your event and the weather conditions it can operate in.

Risk assessment and method statement to demonstrate precautions taken during the installation and use of the structure and screen.

Always ask your supplier for a copy of the above documents and check the engineer report is for the screen and structure size your are hiring. If the screen or structure do not match the report, the document may be invalid and void insurance policies.


Just like for any other event your supplier should be fully insured. This includes public liability and employers' Liability Insurance to cover any accidents to property or people. It is also important to understand who is responsible for the cost of equipment hired in. LED screens and structures are expensive and the total cost of replacement often runs into the £100,000's.


At Shine Cinema we provide all of the above information and documentation as standard ensuring the safest possible solution and compliance with UK guidelines & laws. We also provide additional 'All Risk' insurance to cover theft, fire, accidental damage of our equipment.

All images within this blog are copyrighted by Ad:Vantage Digital Ltd (Trading as Shine Cinema)

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