THE drive-in movie is set to make a return to Southampton.

A big screen TV will once again be erected next to WestQuay shopping centre for three nights of outdoor screenings.

This Is It, the video documentary of Michael Jackson’s tragic comeback tour, will launch the film series on election night.

The dance theme will continue with Patrick Swayze’s Dirty Dancing the following night.

Pixar animation adventure Up will complete the line-up.

More than 60 cars rolled onto the derelict plot next to the WestQuay car park to watch Danny Boyle’s Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire last October, followed by Grease and Mamma Mia!

Organisers hope even more film fans will venture out in the finer weather to catch one of the latest showings at the Daily Echo and Wave 105 backed event.

Paul Hingston, events co-ordinator from Poole based Big Bear Events, said: “You can drive along and watch three of the best films ever made on a large outdoor screen whilst sat in the comfort of your car.”

Drive-In Movies meteoric rise to popularity started in the late 1950s.

These days the soundtrack is broadcast over FM radio rather than outdoor speakers.

Councillor John Hannides, cabinet member for leisure, culture and heritage said: “This is an excellent example of how the Watermark WestQuay site is being used in such a resourceful and creative way.

“The drive in cinema has a high novelty factor for the city and is an exciting way to bring people together, to enjoy the shared experience of watching some of the most successful films in recent times.”

Big Bear Events are also planning a World Cup party on the same site featuring the biggest outdoor TV screen in the south Up to 7,000 footie fans will be able to follow every minute of the month-long tournament action which kicks-off on June 11.

Drive In Movies will run from Thursday May 6 to Saturday May 8. The films start at 9pm. Gates open 7.30pm.

Tickets are £25 per car on the gate or £15 by pre-booking with Ticket South on 023 8071 1811.