A dying breed of theatre is making a comeback in Gravenhurst.
The Muskoka Drive-In Theatre is bucking the trend when it comes to entertainment by adding a second screen that will start operating this coming weekend.
The new addition comes on the heels of announcements that two other Ontario drive-ins have permanently closed. Both the Owen Sound Drive In (two Screens) and The Docks Drive In (Two Screens located in Toronto) closed this spring.
According to DriveInMovie.com, it leaves just 19 operating drive-in movie theatres remaining in Ontario and just 38 remaining drive-in theaters in all of Canada.
North Bay's only drive-in was located on Trout Lake Road off Giroux, but was closed decades ago.
William Alexander, owner of the Muskoka Drive-In said “It has been a long road both financially and red tape wise to add our second screen but I believe that this addition will give people of Muskoka and Northern Ontario one more fun entertainment choice. The second screen will allow us to play family movies on one screen while playing more adult fare on the other”.
Built in 1952, the Muskoka Drive-In is unique as the original cement screen was built on top of Canadian Shield rock and is one of the oldest Canadian Drive-In Theatres still operating. It is the last of many Northern Ontario Drive-Ins that used to populate areas such as North Bay, Sault Ste Marie, Sudbury, New Liskeard, Huntsville and Orillia.
“With all the doom and gloom that has been predicted for Indoor Theatres and Drive-Ins to close, I believe that people want a chance to have fun and what can be more fun than to watch movies under the stars," added Alexander. "A Drive-In experience is about families playing in the playground before the show, kids running around in pajamas, the smell of the BBQ grill or popcorn breezing through the park. Then as dusk descends, the flicker of the projector light across the darkness to light up the giant outdoor screen surrounded by Muskoka pine trees.
"The Owen Sound Twin Drive-in was a large two screen drive-in theater that held 700 cars. During the summer months, they would show double features nightly. The Owen Sound Drive-in was opened in 1950 and operated continuously until 2018 when it was closed for good. Both screens were torn down in April of 2018," says DriveInMovie.com.
"The Docks Drive-in Movie Theater was a twin screen drive-in theater located in Toronto, Ontario. It was Toronto's last remaining drive-in theater. However, it failed to open in the Spring of 2018 and according to their website, it being closed permanently."
The Muskoka Drive-In will open The Incredibles 2 and Avengers: Infinity War on Screen 1.
Oceans 8 and Life of the Party will be on Screen 2.
Admission prices are $10 for Adults, $4 for kids 6 to 12 and children who are 5 or under are admitted free.
The Muskoka Drive-In is currently operating weekends only but will open seven days a week starting June 29 until Labour day weekend.