By Jim Newell
Drive-in movies may have seemed to be an event lost in time, but on May 29 Canterbury Old World Village is bringing back the nostalgia of the big, outdoor screen with newer films for today’s moviegoers.
And in the times of COVID-19, when everyone is advised to stay home and keep away from others, a drive-in offers family entertainment and social distancing safety.
Canterbury Village General Manager Keith Aldridge partnered with Dan Newman of Rochester Hills-based AV7 Productions to bring the drive-in to fruition.
“He does all the big staging and rock concert in metro Detroit all summer long, does all the big festivals,” Aldridge said. “He’s got this beautiful big screen that’s just sitting in his warehouse and he said, ‘Hey, what do you think about doing some drive-in movie theaters at Canterbury?’”
Emagine Theaters is the title sponsor for the Canterbury Village Drive-in, providing the films, which include such popular titles as Spider-Man: Far From Home, Jumanji – The Next Level and Knives Out.
“They’ve been a great partner,” Aldridge said. “They’re really excited about this partnership and being a part of it. Obviously, their brand image is family outings and they just the love partnership and what we’re bringing to the community, all the family stuff.”
Movies are scheduled May 29-31, June 1-2 and June 4. There will be matinees and evening screenings and tickets are $20 per vehicle. For showtimes, tickets and updated information, go to www.bigtickets.com/events/g/canterbury-drive-in-movies and facebook.com/canterburyvillagelakeorion.
The Lake Orion Review will also post a movie schedule and links on its website, lakeorionreview.com, with the article.
To ensure safe social distancing between vehicles, Aldridge said only 160 cars will be allowed per movie. Canterbury Village has five acres of open land for the drive-in, and other events, and each car will be given a 14-foot-by-20-foot wide space to keep a safe distance between cars.
People are also allowed to bring their own refreshments.
“Right now, we plan on people bringing their own until we can open our C-Pub and everybody feels safe. We want to keep people in their cars,” Aldridge said.
Since announcing plans to start the drive-in, Aldridge said he’s seen a “fantastic amount of interest.” After announcing on a Tuesday morning three weeks ago that tickets would go on sale that evening, they had sold 3,000 tickets one hour after tickets went on sale.
“People saw our safety plan and people want to get out of the house and do something for fun as a family, and safe,” Aldridge said. “It’s just to get out and feel normal for a few hours and have some family fun instead of just sitting at home watching Netflix.”
Moviegoers will listen to the movies right through their vehicles.
Tickets for the drive-in are only available online to limit contact between guests and workers.
“There’s no transactions between our customer and our staff. Literally, they can buy their tickets online, have the receipt on their smartphone, we can scan the ticket through their window – they don’t even have to roll their car window down – and our team will direct them to a proper parking space for the event,” Aldridge said.