By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
SpongeBob SquarePants and his Bikini Bottom friends are about to break the pandemic boredom with 11 showings of their new movie, “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run.”
Paramount+ is hosting an immersive drive-thru experience followed by exclusive drive-in screenings of the movie Friday, Feb. 26, to Sunday, Feb. 28, at the Rose Bowl Stadium.
“Sponge on the Run” will be available to stream on Paramount+ on Thursday, March 4, and will also be released by Paramount Home Entertainment for Premium Video-On-Demand (PVOD) the same day.
At the Rose Bowl Stadium, attendees will start their in-car underwater journey with a contactless check-in, and proceed through multiple experiential environments with digital interactions and photo moments along the way.
After the “dive”-thru, guests will park in socially distanced parking spaces to have a first look at an episode of the all-new upcoming Paramount+ Original Series “Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years,” followed by the full feature film, “Sponge on the Run.”
In the first all-CGI SpongeBob motion picture event, “Sponge on the Run,” SpongeBob’s beloved pet snail, Gary, goes missing, and the path of clues leads SpongeBob and Patrick to the powerful King Poseidon, who has Gary held captive in the Lost City of Atlantic City. On their mission to save Gary, SpongeBob and his pals team up for a journey where they discover nothing is stronger than the power of friendship.
At the event, Paramount+ is supporting Heal the Bay by donating 100% of the proceeds, said Craig Waldman, president and chief creative officer of 1540 Productions, the event producers.
“SpongeBob is back bigger and better than ever,” Waldman said. “What we’re going to do is take everybody through an underwater adventure. People pull up and check in — everything is contactless. It’s very COVID-friendly. They’ll have a custom app and download everything when they pull up.”
The app includes custom games, interactive activities, augmented reality and photo opportunities. Scanning a QR code puts visitors into SpongeBob’s world.
“This makes it so immersive,” he said. “I’m going to do it myself. “It’ll be a fun day. People are ready to get out — in a safe way. This one’s really elevated. They pulled out all the stops.”
Waldman said the Rose Bowl Stadium was a logical choice for the “Sponge on the Run” premiere.
“We looked at other venues,” he said. “We needed the space for the drive-in itself. We needed space for a drive-thru experience. It has grass as opposed to concrete. The backdrop of Pasadena is beautiful.
“It’s a great family neighborhood. Why would you not want to do SpongeBob there? I think Pasadena being known for its families and the historic neighborhoods. It’s a great spot for this event.”
“The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run”
WHEN: Eleven showings Friday, Feb. 26, to Sunday, Feb. 28
WHERE: Rose Bowl Stadium, 1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena
COST: $30 to $100; For discounted tickets, PWeekly_50