Drive-in theatres provide family entertainment during COVID-19

Social distancing restrictions provide new life for drive-in theatres across Quebec.
By: Stewart Wiseman
June 08, 2020
Photo: CBC News Montreal

With social distancing measures entering their third month, family movie night has become repetitive for some, while other cinema buffs miss watching films on a large screen. In an era where millions of television shows and movies are available instantly at our fingertips, old cinema traditions have struggled to keep up with the changing times. However, vintage drive-in theatres in Quebec have strangely become the perfect family outing during COVID-19. Over the weekend, the municipality of Dorval spent $15,000 to re-create the feel of a drive-in theatre in a shopping mall parking lot. The Montreal-suburb's event sold out both nights, as families and teenagers were able to get out of their homes for a movie event while maintaining social distancing.

Owners of Quebec's full-time drive-in theatres are expecting a summer of business not seen in decades due to COVID-19. Without summer festivals, concerts, or movie theatres, Quebec's drive-in theatres are one of the few entertainment escapes that will remain open. In Saint-Eustache, drive-in owner Brigitte Mathers says that one challenge will be the lack of new movies being released this summer, but nevertheless she expects to draw more interest than in past years. Mathers has owned the drive-in theatre since 1971 and can accomodate a reduced social distancing capacity of 1,200 cars per night. As people become increasingly antsy for their lives to return to normal, drive-in cinemas will become one of the few ways to have a night out as a family while keeping your loved ones safe.

Source: CBC News Montreal

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