Cropped photo: Silver Screen Drive-in will be in the upper parking lot of Waneta Plaza.

Summer drive-in returns to Trail unveiling blockbuster movies

PHOTOS: Scroll to bottom for a trip down memory lane to the Auto Vue Drive-In

Who’s ready to get outside, like the old days, and watch a movie on the silver screen?

Then you’re in luck because the Trail and District Arts Council and the Royal Theatre have joined forces to bring back a favourite summertime pastime via the Silver Screen Drive-in.

From June 18 to Sept. 25 at dusk, the Silver Screen Drive-in will run movies Thursday through Saturday in the upper parking lot of Waneta Plaza.

Building on the history of the Auto-Vue Drive-in, which ran from 1952 to 2003 on the property where Trail Walmart now stands, this collaboration will offer the best in blockbuster and independent movies on a 40-foot inflatable screen.

“We see the event as something that will be fun, affordable and safe for attendees during this time,” said Lisa Milne, Royal Theatre owner. “We know people are missing those magical shared experiences, which have been difficult during COVID, so we want to bring back the nostalgia of going out to a drive-in and snuggling up with your sweetie. Or [you can] introduce your children to films you loved when you were a kid.”

The project came about due to COVID-19 restrictions preventing the Bay Avenue moviehouse and arts council from putting on their usual programming.

A drive-in event is one that has been allowed to operate throughout the pandemic and is something that enables both organizations to continue to bring entertainment to locals. As well, the event aims to help businesses by bringing people into Trail from surrounding towns to enjoy dinner beforehand. The project will be also be ongoing to help attract visitors.

Start-up equipment for the drive-in was purchased with a grant from the BC Arts Council’s PIVOT program, which aims to help arts organizations adapt to the times.

“We spent a lot of time thinking about the name to make sure it reflected both what we were doing and the history of the area,” said Nadine Tremblay, the council’s executive director. “Silver Screen Drive-in fits perfectly as it makes people think of old Hollywood glam, the glow of the screen before a film starts and, even more importantly, it touches on our own history as the Silver City.”

Upcoming films will include retro classics from comedy to horror, as well as those Sunday Cinema favourites and Oscar winning independent films and documentaries.

“We will also be featuring recorded concerts, dance, and theatre performances, putting much needed revenues into artists pockets,” Tremblay said.

The Drive-in will roar into high gear on the first weekend with family favourites E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial on Friday, June 18 and Sonic The Hedgehog on Saturday June 19.

The following weeks have a wide range of films confirmed that include: Minari, American Graffiti, Wonder Women 1984, Alone Across The Arctic, Strange Brew, Detective Pikachu 2D, The Father, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Croods: A New Age, The Barkley Marathons, The Goonies, and Tenet.

Tickets are $12 per person and available on the The Bailey Theatre website: thebailey.ca.

The Silver Screen Drive-in is sponsored by Bounce Radio, Century 21, Kootenay Savings Credit Union, Teck Metals Ltd. and Tourism Rossland, and made possible thanks to support from Waneta Plaza and funding from the Government of British Columbia, BC Arts Council, and Canadian Heritage.

READ MORE: Trail Blazers: The quintessential moviehouse

READ MORE: Royal Theatre among cinemas featured in documentary


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The Auto Vue Drive-in was demolished on June 8, 2004, making way for the Trail Walmart. For a trip down memory lane here’s a look back at this venue which was treasured by so many. Photos: Trail Historical Society

The Auto Vue Drive-in was demolished on June 8, 2004, making way for the Trail Walmart. For a trip down memory lane here’s a look back at this venue which was treasured by so many. Photos: Trail Historical Society

The Auto Vue Drive-in was demolished on June 8, 2004, making way for the Trail Walmart. For a trip down memory lane here’s a look back at this venue which was treasured by so many. Photos: Trail Historical Society

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