Pop-up drive-in movie theatre cancels Edmonton screenings

Pop-up drive-in movie theatre cancels Edmonton screenings - image

EDMONTON — A pop-up drive-in theatre that sold out three shows within 24 hours has cancelled its screenings due to issues with permits, zoning restrictions and other by-laws.

“It didn’t make sense from a financial perspective,” operator Fred Thompson said in a statement posted to The Silver Spur Drive-In website Friday. And the timing was too tight to once he realized all the regulatory hoops he would have to jump through to show movies in the parking lot beside Telus Field.

“Reviving the drive-in is truly my passion, and I still hope to someday be successful.”

Tickets will be refunded for the three shows scheduled for July 4, 5 and 6: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Megamind and 500 Days of Summer.

The City of Edmonton said it had been working with Thompson to secure all the proper licenses for the drive-in. One of the concerns was to ensure the shows weren’t disruptive to the surrounding Rossdale community.

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According to a biography in NAIT’s techlife magazine, Thompson has invested more than $20,000 in a high-quality projector, both a large and small screen, an FM transmitter, speakers, generators and other related items.

Last summer he held his first event in a Breton, a village south of Edmonton, where 50 or so vehicles showed up to watch the 2009 Star Trek reboot.

Edmonton was the drive-in theatre capital of Canada in the 1970s, when 10 screens could be found in the area. But as the decades wore on they began to disappear, largely due to high land prices and the popularity of videos.

Edmonton’s last permanent drive-in theatres, the Stardust Twin Drive-In on the south side and the Twin Drive-In in the north end, were both torn down in 1998.

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