Double bill weekend kicks off Shamrock Drive-In season

Four consecutive nights of film to enjoy under the stars 


The season of outdoor movies kicks off this Canada Day weekend, with one of the province’s last remaining drive-in theatres lighting up the night as the sun goes down.

The 1950’s Shamrock Drive-In, located on Highway 18 just south of town, will be popping the popcorn and heating up the nachos, all in time for the double feature presentation of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, followed by The Lost City.

“I’m busy getting the concession ready,” said co-owner of the theatre, Joanne Struss, who was busy on Tuesday inside the tiny and authentic sixties’ snack building. “We have ordered the popcorn, and it’s being delivered from Winnipeg on Wednesday. Each bag of kernels weighs 50 pounds, or 22 kilograms. How much will we sell? Around 25 pounds of kernels, maybe even up to 50 pounds, will be popped each night. It takes 300 people to eat all the popcorn made from a 50-pound bag of popcorn kernels.”

Last weekend the Struss family was kept very busy replacing their new ‘screen’ cover sheets. Last year they hauled in shipping containers in order to create a new, windproof screen, after the old one was blasted and burned in a tornado event.  

But the corrugated sides of the sea-cans didn’t satisfy the demands of husband Darren Struss’s sharp eye, and last summer they added flat wood sheets onto the screen, painted them white, and started rolling the film.

“But 14 of these sheets had blown down,” said Joanne Struss. “They were ripped out by the screws, after this last big, windy winter. So we replaced them all – 25 boards – and painted them, on both sides, so they will last longer. And we used bigger screws this time. It should be good. Now we just have to mow the grass, which is really long.”

The double bill nights will open on Thursday, June 30, and run until Sunday, July 3, she said.

“Last year we could only do DVDs, but this year we can play new releases,” said Struss. “We are playing movies that are still in theatres. We are picking up the movies in Winnipeg on Wednesday, and then we are good to go. It’s going to run as regular. The plan is to offer double features on long weekends.”

Price for a retro flick night under the stars is $10 for those aged 16 and up; $5 for those aged six to 15; while those aged five and under get in free. Pull up to the tiny gatehouse (before sunset), use cash or debit to buy a ticket, and then make your way into the vintage Shamrock Drive-In this summer.

POPCORN POPULARITY – Popcorn is a big seller at the Shamrock Drive-In. Co-owner Joanne Struss says they expect to pop up at least 25 pounds of the hard little kernels on Thursday, when the vintage drive-in theatre opens for the season with a four-day double-header.