Entertainment

2020: The Year Drive-In Movie Theatres Are Reborn?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jul 3rd, 2020 5:09 am
Deal Addict
Apr 24, 2017
1262 posts
599 upvotes
I’d go if they had a weekend of the original Star Wars film and Jaws. I wonder if they’d do well showing older movies that are classics. I wonder too if they could even get old ones.
Sr. Member
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Feb 16, 2016
569 posts
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Casselman, Ontario
I’ve heard they’re building a new one in Hull/Gatineau. I’ve never been to one and can’t wait to try it out!
Sr. Member
Jan 8, 2015
686 posts
422 upvotes
This is really awesome! I missed the Drive-In era but have always wanted to go to one.
facebook259 wrote: Consider, just how lousy it is to watch a movie through your dirty windshield. Trying to get your headlights to turn completely off. And knowing you are paying the same as for renting at home with a screen far enough away that it is lower quality.

Drive-ins really died when film studios started requiring counting each person and charging the same as in the regular theatre. But you do not get the equivalent experience. If you want the drive in theatre feel, take the seats out of your minivan and use them in front of the TV, Don't forget put the kids behind you and challenge them to see past you.

For triple bonus points open the windows to let the mosquitoes in, or turn up the thermostat twenty degrees to simulate the heat of having the windows close, with the air conditioner off.
On 2nd thought...Face With Tears Of Joy
Deal Fanatic
Mar 15, 2005
5389 posts
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What movies what they actually play though? No major studio releases so would they just do 2019 movies again?
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Mar 12, 2005
9394 posts
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Victoria
Ziggy007 wrote: What movies what they actually play though? No major studio releases so would they just do 2019 movies again?
That's definitely a wierd one. Continuing air movies that were in theatres before the epidemic hit (which are now available to watch at home) or older movies from last year or older. I don't think I've been to a drive in. I barely remember the last years of them being around when I was a kid. I do remember people talking about how the audio wasn't great, nor was watching the movie through the windshield. It was more of a date thing to do?

I wonder if this fad will stick, because I don't think hollywood will release the big movies until theatres reopen, at which point the virus would be mostly contained, ergo removing the need for the drive in?
[OP]
Member
Jan 12, 2020
493 posts
691 upvotes
As a person who has found so much enjoyment on our annual family trips to the drive-in, I decided earlier not to draw attention to this poster who clearly relished in negatively dramatizing the drive-in experience. However, based on the number of posts and misinformation they generated in this thread, it seems they nonetheless got some of the attention they were seeking anyways.

So belatedly, here are some simple facts and tips on how a Canadian family can enjoy a summer night out at the drive-in together.

facebook259 wrote: Consider, just how lousy it is to watch a movie through your dirty windshield.
Take a minute to wash your windshield before the movie starts.

facebook259 wrote: Trying to get your headlights to turn completely off.
Apply your parking brake when your car is off. This shuts down all external lights, even if you restart the car or if you have your key in the accessories position to run the radio.

facebook259 wrote: And knowing you are paying the same as for renting at home with a screen far enough away that it is lower quality.
The drive-in has a proper big movie screen compared to the biggest TV. You can choose how close to park your car, the same way you choose which row to sit in at the movie theatre.

facebook259 wrote: Drive-ins really died when film studios started requiring counting each person and charging the same as in the regular theatre.
Movies remain one of the least expensive entertainment outings. Compare their admission price to concerts and sporting events. And as with regular movie theatres, the studios charge the drive-in operators such a high movie rental fee, that they are lucky to break even on your admission tickets, and only make money on the concession stand. Of course, for the hard core RFDer, there's almost always one night a week at the drive-in where they have carload night for one admission price. (Additionally, as far back as the 60's drive-ins charged by the person (that's why as teenagers we used to hide in the trunk) - - I'm not sure when this golden age of endless carload pricing ever existed?)

facebook259 wrote: But you do not get the equivalent experience. If you want the drive in theatre feel, take the seats out of your minivan and use them in front of the TV, Don't forget put the kids behind you and challenge them to see past you.
If you're not interested in trying a different moviegoing experience - - one where your family gets to enjoy being outside on a beautiful summer night together - - then by all means spend another night watching TV in your basement. Alternatively, some families choose to park their hatchback backwards with the kids lying down on a sleeping bag with the hatch open and Mom & Dad in lawn chairs in front.

facebook259 wrote: For triple bonus points open the windows to let the mosquitoes in, or turn up the thermostat twenty degrees to simulate the heat of having the windows close, with the air conditioner off.
We have had the good fortune to have many nights at the drive-in where there's a lovely cool breeze and no insects at all. However, that being said, this is Canada and in the earlier part of the summer there have been nights where mosquitos were out in the early evening. If it's bothersome, I think most Canadians use a little mosquito repellant, but as an alternative here's a pro tip to get you through the first couple hours on those nights: find a couple yards of mosquito netting material (salvaged from an old tent or bug house or purchased new at the fabric store or amazon) and cut it into pieces about 6" larger than each of your car windows. Find a few meters of those long flexible strip magnets (salvaged from old refrigerators out on the street for recycling - take a pen knife and cut the white plastic door seal off all around, and then take it home and strip off the white plastic or purchase at craft store or amazon). When you get to the drive-in, open your car windows and seal the mosquito netting all around by placing the magnet strips over top and attaching to the metal frame of your car doors. After the movie, they all roll-up into a tiny bundle that can be stowed in the trunk. In later summer, August and early September, there are many more insect-free nights, than in May and June.


And all of these nitpicky finer points don't encompass the broader social enjoyments of going to the drive-in:

- letting the kids honk the horn, when everybody knows the first movie is about to start (pro-tip: first notes only of shave and a haircut / call and response)
- although currently not allowed, coming early so the kids can play on good old-fashioned playground equipment and make drive-in friends with all the other kids
- sharing hot poutine in the car with ice cold drinks while laughing together
- not to mention, any PG fun that a dating couple might get up to ; )
- looking at a night chock full of stars and watching meteorite showers draw lines in the sky above the movie screen
- having the kids fall asleep comfortably in the car, while Mom & Dad enjoy the second movie of the double feature
- carrying on the proud tradition of generations of Canadians who have made the drive-in one more way of enjoying our great outdoors
Deal Addict
Aug 31, 2017
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Ziggy007 wrote: What movies what they actually play though? No major studio releases so would they just do 2019 movies again?
Exactly. There is nothing that is going to entice me to go drive, park, and sit inside a car on a summer evening with nothing worthwhile to watch. Well, that and I also don't have a car lol
Deal Expert
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Apr 16, 2002
20681 posts
22108 upvotes
Toronto
Got our tickets to the drive-in tomorrow night. So excited to be back at movies with others , albeit socially distancing.

Double bill is Bad Boys for Life and The Wretched.

http://premiertheatres.ca/5drivein

UPDATE - My quick review from last night. Our screening had plenty of space. Trolls looked far busier. No trailers so movie started quickly. The put in porta potties for each screen now so you don't have to trek to main washroom. Porta potties are super nice with lighting inside and plenty of room. Attendant cleans each one after a guest exits.

Tickets were only sold online and they limiting capacity now. Concession stand not open so we brought our own snacks. Was a lovely night.
Last edited by sprung on Jun 8th, 2020 8:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
Things changed now that I’m a father, I can’t live my life a quarter mile at a time anymore.
Deal Guru
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Mar 6, 2003
13696 posts
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Ottawa
The problem with drive-ins will always be: one of the reasons I like to go to theaters is the big screen (covers your whole field of vision), the big sound (full surround).

Otherwise I will just watch it at home on my projector.
RFD is not just about saving money, it's about the thrill of the hunt and getting the stuff I want without paying full price like Joe Shmoe did.
This applies to everyday items as well as high end items that I don't really need.
Deal Expert
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Oct 26, 2003
33581 posts
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Winnipeg
Why can't people just go into regular cinema with mask and gloves? Have them included as part of the ticket price.
Deal Expert
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Jun 9, 2003
24534 posts
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Markham, ON
divx wrote: Why can't people just go into regular cinema with mask and gloves? Have them included as part of the ticket price.
because there will always be some guy that takes off the mask during the showing or start coughing 5mins in.

No different that the aholes that talk on the phone during the showing.
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Nov 20, 2010
3203 posts
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Really looking forward to seeing Christopher Nolan's new movie "Tenet" in July at the drive-in. Hope it doesn't get postponed and we get the summer release as scheduled. ;)

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