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Coronavirus: Entrepreneur in Grand Forks, B.C., changing his tune to drive-in theatre

Chuck Varabioff says the screen he purchased for the outdoor theatre is meant for 7000 viewers.
Chuck Varabioff says the screen he purchased for the outdoor theatre is meant for 7000 viewers. Submitted

As B.C.’s Phase 2 comes into full effect, many businesses are having to adapt to new COVID-19 regulations put in place by the provincial health officer and WorkSafeBC.

One entrepreneur has changed his business plans for this year because of the pandemic.

READ MORE: Recent flooding could have been prevented, say residents of Grand Forks, B.C., neighbourhood

Chuck Varabioff, who owns the Canada Rock Fest music festival, says he’s starting a new business at his 15-acre property in Grand Forks.

“Once Rock Fest was cancelled, I thought ‘What can I do with the property that would give people in the area something to do?” Varabioff told Global News.

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“I saw that drive-ins were making a big comeback, so I started doing some research, and rather than having my property vacant for the year, I made an investment.”

Varabioff bought the property to host his rock music festival, but the festival was cancelled due to health regulations for COVID-19.

READ MORE: Grand Forks city officials plan for next phase following buyout plan

All the necessary equipment has been ordered and Varabioff says he will get his new permit on June 15th following a council meeting.

He’ set his prices at $25 per car for one movie or $40 for two movies.

“I’ve heard from Universal Studios, Sony Pictures and Warner Brothers. I will be showing their movies,” said Varabioff.

As per running a drive-in movie theatre during the pandemic, Varabioff says he will be following all directives made by health officials.

Directives will include:

  • Physical distancing between vehicles
  • Touch-free hand washing and sanitizer stations
  • Portable toilets will be cleaned and monitored by staff regularly
  • 50-car limit
  • Online-based ticket system

Varabioff has named his new venture Canada Rock Fest Drive-In and he expects to be open around Canada Day.

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Be prepared for all kinds of new protocols at B.C hotels this summer
Be prepared for all kinds of new protocols at B.C hotels this summer