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Hyland Cinema in London, Ont., to kick off Canada Day with new drive-in theatre

Co-owner Moira Adlan says the cinema's 45th annual Jaws Fest will run from July 3 to 4.
Co-owner Moira Adlan says the cinema's 45th annual Jaws Fest will run from July 3 to 4. Google Maps

Despite the novel coronavirus pandemic, Londoners have the chance to celebrate Canada Day by screening the iconic 1995 movie Canadian Bacon at a local cinema’s new drive-in theatre.

Hyland Cinema’s new drive-in theatre is set up in the cinema’s parking lot at 240 Wharncliffe Road South.

Read more: Canada Day 2020 will include a drive-thru ribfest in Burlington, Ont.

Moira Adlan, the co-owner of the cinema, told Devon Peacock on 980 CFPL’s Morning Show that the idea of introducing a drive-in theatre wasn’t serious at first.

“It started out as kind of a joke,” Adlan said.

“We thought we could put a screen outside and people could come, (but) as time went on, we decided to go for it.”

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The drive-in theatre is set to open on Fridays and Saturdays, but next Wednesday will be an exception as Canadian Bacon goes up on the big outdoor screen on Canada Day.

“It’s classic Canada, you got to love John Candy!”

Adlan says Londoners were so excited about seeing the movie that two screenings are already sold out, and a third screening has been added.

Coronavirus: Ciné Starz among first movie theatres to reopen in Quebec
Coronavirus: Ciné Starz among first movie theatres to reopen in Quebec

Prior to the new drive-in theatre’s grand opening, Adlan says the cinema required some additional help from “a 45-foot crane and a brother who really loves you,” the co-owner chuckled.

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“It was my brother and my projectionist (in) the pouring rain one day getting the screen up.”

Adlan hopes the new outdoor theatre will be able to stay for the summer to provide the community with a place to catch up on films and also allow the theatre to catch up on finances.

Read more: The New Reality: COVID-19 produces drive-in revival

Hyland Cinema was forced to shut down in mid-March due to COVID-19.

Adlan says sales have certainly dropped during this time.

“We did online sales (and) drive-thrus for concessions and merchandise, which helps a bit, but it certainly doesn’t replace a theatre running.”

Read more: Coronavirus: Cineplex not requiring guests to wear masks when theatres reopen

Adlan says the cinema’s 45th annual Jaws Fest will run from July 3 to 4.

Those interested in watching Canadian Bacon, Jaws or any movie at the Hyland are required to purchase tickets and concessions online in advance.

Staff will be wearing masks and gloves as they director traffic in the parking lot.

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