The Lindsay Drive-In is opening for the season on Sunday night (May 31), but it won’t be the traditional drive-in experience.
While the Ontario government has amended the emergency order prohibiting drive-in theatres from opening, stringent public health measures are now in place.
One of those measures includes a prohibition on selling food and beverages, so drive-ins are not allowed to open their concession stands — which generates a lot of their revenue.
Because Ontario government restrictions require vehicles at the drive-in to remain two metres apart, the Lindsay Drive-In will operate at half its normal capacity — meaning only 185 vehicles will be allowed into the theatre.
As a result, the Lindsay Drive-In is temporarily raising its admission prices to $15 per person ($5 for children between 3 and 12, free for kids 2 and under).
The other big difference is that, because cinemas remain closed, Hollywood isn’t releasing new movies. So the Lindsay Drive-In will be screening older releases.
For the time being, the Lindsay Drive-In is open Friday to Tuesday. There will be no Carload Tuesdays (discount night).
From Sunday (May 31) to Tuesday (June 2), the drive-in will be playing Trolls World Tour (PG) and The Invisible Man (18A) on both screens.
The box office opens at 7 p.m. and the movies begin at dusk.
“This could result in being turned away at the box office,” owner Danny Zita writes on the drive-in’s website. “While we can’t predict our numbers, we will try to update asap if we are close to selling out. Since we are open 5 days a week, there will be lots of chances to get in.”
The following government-mandated rules are in place at the Lindsay Drive-In:
- there must be one empty parking space between each vehicle (two metres apart)
- only members of the same household can be in the same vehicle
- patrons must remain in their vehicles except when leaving to use the washroom
- convertibles are not allowed, and patrons cannot sit in the beds of pick-up trucks.
Zita says that any patrons who do not follow these rules will be asked to leave.
While washrooms are open (cleaned and disinfected regularly), the concession stand and kids’ playground are closed.
Debit, credit, and mobile pay options are accepted at the box office.
“It’s a stressful time for everyone,” Zita writes on the drive-in’s website. “We all know the drill. Let’s be nice to our friends, visitors and staff at the Drive In. Please stay home if you have any symptoms … Let’s all do our part to be responsible.”
The other drive-in in the Kawarthas, the Port Hope Drive-In in Cobourg, has not released any information about its re-opening plans as of the publication date of this story.