Lindsay Drive-In open five days a week starting May 31

Theatre will operate at half its normal capacity, and temporarily raises prices to offset lost concession stand revenue

The Lindsay Drive-In is reopening for the 2020 season on May 31, 2020, with government-mandated restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Pictured is a 1955 Buick Super owned by David Vahey of Omemee at the Lindsay Drive-In in 2017. Drive-in theatres, which were at the height of their popularity in the late 1950s, have experienced a resurgence in popularity during the pandemic, as they provide a shared social experience that still allows people to maintain physical distancing. (Photo: Lindsay Drive-In / Facebook)
The Lindsay Drive-In is reopening for the 2020 season on May 31, 2020, with government-mandated restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Pictured is a 1955 Buick Super owned by David Vahey of Omemee at the Lindsay Drive-In in 2017. Drive-in theatres, which were at the height of their popularity in the late 1950s, have experienced a resurgence in popularity during the pandemic, as they provide a shared social experience that still allows people to maintain physical distancing. (Photo: Lindsay Drive-In / Facebook)

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).

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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.

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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.

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