The Boys and Girls Club of Airdrie (BGCA) will offer families a chance to catch a movie under the stars during a drive-in screening the club will host July 11 in the Ron Ebbesen Arena parking lot.
Kathy Ritcher, BGCA’s manager of events and volunteers, said the club will show the 2008 film Journey to the Centre of the Earth during the event, dubbed Movie in the Park.
“We’re doing Movie in the Park to get the community out and about and do the things they love to do,” Ritcher said.
“We honestly just want the community to come out and have a safe, fun-filled evening, and to enjoy themselves.”
Due to public health restrictions, Ritcher said BGCA will not be supplying concessions at the event, so she is encouraging attendees to bring their own snacks.
Moviegoers will be permitted to use BGCA’s washrooms, she said, but they will have to adhere to strict guidelines when doing so. Anyone leaving their vehicles will be mandated to wear a mask – if they do not have a mask, BGCA will provide them one. Bathroom-users will be required to sanitize their hands upon entry.
“Basically, we have to really watch how many people come in and we’ll be sanitizing everything before someone else can come in," Ritcher said. "We’re trying to do everything [we can] to take the necessary precautions.”
Local company Hi Tech Productions is supplying the projection screen for the film, which Ritcher said will be 40 feet wide by 25 feet tall. She added the screen will sit atop a flat deck trailer against the arena. Audio will be broadcast to each vehicle through the radio.
The entrance to the parking lot will open at 9 p.m., with the screening starting at 10 p.m. When viewers arrive, Ritcher said they will be provided with a brochure outlining safety precautions and guidelines. The brochure will also inform them which radio station to tune into so they can hear the film’s audio.
“Hi Tech Productions will provide music beforehand and upon leaving, to entertain you as you’re coming in before the movie starts,” she said.
Ritcher expects a capacity of 100 vehicles, though she added organizers will play it by ear. For ideal viewing conditions, she said smaller vehicles will be stationed close to the screen, while larger vehicles will be directed to the back. Other than those guidelines, vehicles will park on a first-come, first-served basis.
Entry is free, but Ritcher said a suggested donation of $20 per vehicle is recommended. All proceeds from the event will support BGCA's programs and services.
Drive-in movies have seen a comeback in recent months, following the closure of movie theatres around the country in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Other Alberta communities including Cochrane and Mirror have put on drive-in screenings.