A young girl plays in in the back seat of a pick-up truck as movie previews play on the drive-in screen on Thursday, March 19, 2020 in Oak Harbor, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Blackfalds screening drive-in movie

Free viewing set for May 21 in All Star Park

Blackfalds will raise the curtain on a drive-in movie night later this month.

Town council approved a May 21 movie at the All Star Park soccer fields. The show begins around 9:30 p.m.

Residents will get a chance to weigh in on what the night’s entertainment should be from three choices: Jumanji: The Next Level, Dolittle and Abominable, through an online poll on the town’s Facebook page.

The event will be free, but donations will be collected for the local food bank. Gates open at 8:45 p.m. and a maximum of 200 cars will be allowed.

A drive-in movie night was first suggested by a local resident several weeks ago. Before the town could say yes or no, staff had to do a little research.

Drive-in movie nights had been introduced in the hamlet of Mirror, but Alberta Health Service shut down the event for fear of spreading COVID-19. That decision was later reversed as part of the province’s relaunch strategy.

For safety, those attending the movie will have to follow strict rules. Viewers must stay in their vehicles. Anyone who gets out of their vehicle will be escorted out of the event, says the town.

The event will cost about $5,000, including around $4,290 in equipment rental fees and $800 to license the film.

Like other Alberta communities, Blackfalds was ordered by the province to cancel all of its summer festivals and large gatherings, including the popular Blackfalds Days.

“We are hopeful that this event will be the start of a series of opportunities for the town to provide social connectedness with physical distancing,” says Blackfalds’ Family and Community Support Services manager, Sue Bornn.

Meanwhile, Chris Scott, owner of Mirror’s Whistle Stop Cafe, is continuing his shows. Toy Story 4 was on the bill for Wednesday evening. Redcliff and Camrose have also set up temporary drive-in shows in recent weeks.

There are 36 permanent drive-ins left in Canada — none of them in Alberta — according to the site DriveInMovie.com. Ontario leads the nation with 16.

In its heyday, 4,000 drive-ins existed in the U.S. Now, there are about 330.


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