Okanagan drive-in movie theatre announces opening night

Starlight Drive In Theatre will launch 2020 season with social distancing measures April 30

The Starlight Drive In Movie Theatre is set to launch its 2020 season Thursday, April 30, though things will look different this year due to added social distancing measures amid COVID-19. (Starlight Drive In photo)

Enderby’s Starlight Drive In Theatre is ready to open after putting in place extensive social distancing safeguards in light of COVID-19.

The outdoor theatre will kick off its 2020 season with a test weekend starting Thursday, April 30.

“As we prepare to open the Starlight Drive-In for the 2020 season, the province and country are in a very different place than the spring of 2019,” the Starlight team said in a Friday update on the theatre’s website.

The theatre has adjusted a number of its operations to meet all government regulations around social distancing, and is now counting on the public to follow instructions from Starlight staff.

“The success of our opening, and our ability to stay open will depend on the entire Starlight family pulling together and doing their part to ensure safe operations.”

Tickets are available online only and in advance starting Friday, April 24 at 9 a.m. Ticket sales will not be available at the box office in order to minimize contact between staff and the public. The theatre says online tickets guarantee entrance but not a specific parking spot. The pricing structure has also been simplified for ease of online purchasing. Tickets range from $13.75 for individuals to $36 for families.

Capacity has been slashed by 50 per cent to allow each car to have 20 feet of parking space. Guests will be directed to park in the middle of each lot.

Opening the hatchback or parking trucks backward will still be allowed, but people must stay within their 20-foot stalls. Activities that were commonly allowed in previous years such as ball playing, dog walking and visiting between vehicles will not be allowed.

The theatre said the gates will be open only an hour before the start of the first show, shortening the total time spent at the drive-in.

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A limited number of concession products will be available to start the season, though the list of available items may be expanded depending on the results of the test weekend.

“Strict social distancing measures will be in place, and guests are asked to send one person from their vehicle to concession to minimize risk,” the theatre said.

Washrooms inside the concession will also have social distancing measures in place, including a limited capacity and additional on-site porta-potties.

“We remain grateful that we are able to provide our community, many of whom are struggling, with one of the few forms of family entertainment that can be enjoyed—as an isolated family unit—without ever leaving the safety of your vehicle,” the theatre said.

“Please follow directions given by our team at all times, and be kind and patient with one another. We’re all working through this mess together.”

The movies for first weekend of the season are Sonic the Hedgehog and 1917. The double feature will run April 30 to May 4 and May 7 to 11.

“The success of our opening, and our ability to stay open will depend on the entire Starlight family pulling together and doing their part to ensure safe operations.”


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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