Calgary·Photos

Moviegoers pull up a chair to the cinema under the stars in High River

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the movie-going experience — possibly for good. While major theater chains experiment with their relaunch, some movie buffs are turning to an old-fashioned cinema experience.

The non-profit High River Sunset Drive-In opened to the public earlier this month

Ashlene Dembicki and Alaister Standen enjoy watching Cars at the High River Sunset Drive-In on Aug. 28. (Leah Hennel for CBC News)

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the movie-going experience — possibly for good. While major theater chains experiment with their relaunch, some movie buffs are turning to an old-fashioned cinema experience.

Drive-in theatres are seeing a renaissance in a COVID-19 world, including in Alberta. Earlier this month, a group of High River residents pooled their efforts to open what's being called the High River Sunset Drive-In.

According to the group's website, half of the proceeds from the drive-in will be donated to local charities while half will be used to pay for equipment and improve the drive-in site.

The drive-in began showing movies to the public in mid-August, and has already scheduled films until the end of September. On Aug. 29, moviegoers brought their vehicles to the site to catch a screening of the 2006 Pixar film Cars.

Vehicles at the High River Sunset Drive-In are spaced out to allow for distancing between moviegoers. (Leah Hennel for CBC News)
Louise and Bruce Lambert found themselves a great seat to watch a movie at the High River Sunset Drive-In on Aug. 28. (Leah Hennel for CBC News)
Kids bundled up atop of cars while watching Cars at the High River Sunset Drive-In on Aug. 28. (Leah Hennel for CBC News)
Keith and Deanna Christopher got cozy with blankets and snacks to take in a movie at the High River Sunset Drive-In on Aug. 28. (Leah Hennel for CBC News)
Cloudy and colourful skies provided a beautiful backdrop during a drive-in movie at the High River Sunset Drive-In on Friday. (Leah Hennel for CBC News)
Even as the night grew darker, food trucks at the High River Sunset Drive-In served up tasty treats for guests in attendance. (Leah Hennel for CBC News)
The back of pick-up trucks provided ample seating for those who came out to enjoy a movie on Friday. (Leah Hennel for CBC News)
Two moviegoers at the High River Sunset Drive-In watched Lightning McQueen and friends in the desert town of Radiator Springs on Aug. 28. (Leah Hennel for CBC News)

With photographs from Leah Hennel

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