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Guelph drive-in theatre wants go-ahead to reopen
KITCHENER -- For many, summer isn’t complete without a visit to a drive-in movie theatre.
In fact, some provinces are allowing the theatres to re-open during the pandemic and in other parts of the world the facilities are being used as the backdrop for weddings and other physically distanced ceremonies.
However, in Ontario, drive-ins remain closed because of COVID-19 and the owner of Mustang Drive-In Theatre in Guelph is looking to change that.
“We’ve already been set back about two months now,” explains John Daddetta, owner of the Mustang Drive-In.
Daddetta says in order to help the theatre bounce back, he’s written a letter to the Premier’s office asking for permission to reopen.
He's asking the province to re-open drive-in movie theatres in time for the May long weekend
“Usually every long weekend, we have all-nighters, where we put on four movies. And they’re here till five or six in the morning, so it’s a big party, get together,” explains Daddetta.
Adding that it’s a place where people can enjoy a little time away from their homes, by enjoying a movie in the safety of their vehicles.
“I think now everyone is looking for an escape, some breathing room. And I think the drive-in would be a great venue to space out,” he says.
Daddetta says the drive-in sits on 17 acres of land and can accommodate up to 550 vehicles, but he says if they’re allowed to open again, they would only allow half the number of vehicles.
Measures would be put in place in the theatre to enforce physical distancing in washrooms and at the concession stand.
“Normally on a busy night, it is packed in there shoulder to shoulder, but now with the rules and regulations, we can allow only 10 or 12 at a time, evenly spaced. I’m sure we can accommodate that,” says Daddetta.
In Manitoba, drive-ins got the green light to re-open as long as movie-goers stay two metres apart.
And in Germany, drive-ins are making a big comeback as a setting for couples' weddings.
It’s a scene many people want to see here, but there's no sign Ontario is heading in the same direction any time soon.
In a statement made to CTV news, the province says in part "our government is taking a careful, stage-by stage approach to loosening emergency measures and reopening Ontario’s economy. Public health and workplace safety will remain the top priority, while balancing the needs of people and businesses"
Daddetta says if he's able to reopen the drive-in theatre is ready to go.