The health crisis has led to a rebirth of retro trends in Quebec. The Royalmount, Montreal's massive new drive-in theatre, is the largest and maybe most exciting example. The 250-car venue opens for the season on June 21 and revealed its first movie selection on Tuesday.
Opening night leans into those retro vibes with a screening of the 1984 original Footloose.
It's followed by Mission Impossible: Fallout on June 22; Catch Me If You Can on June 23; a special Saint Jean-Baptiste celebration on June 25; Gemini Man on June 27; Star Trek Beyond on June 29; and Zoolander on June 30.
The Fête National event, "United in Diversity," aims to "celebrate [...] all dimensions of the diversity of Quebeckers" with a lineup of "comedians, singers, dancers et DJ's of all origins."
With a 30-foot stage and 50-foot LED screen, the Royalmount is a fully convertible venue able to host everything from classic drive-in movie nights to special events and shows.
The whole idea is to give Montrealers some summer fun with social distancing in mind.
Window service, for example, will allow guests to order food without leaving their cars.
The food and concessions options listed on the Royalmount website include Lucille's Oyster Drive, which specializes in seafood as well as burgers and ribs, and Java U, in addition to "assorted movie theatre classics."
Other features designed to minimize contact between people are "individual bathroom trailers [that] will be maintained with a team to disinfect after each use" and "premium audio [...] broadcast to each car though their own sound system."
(Organizers have promised, by the way, "simultaneously bilingual" programming.)
"Predetermined safe zones" will also enable visitors to "tailgate" outside their cars while staying away from other people.
"Access to events at the Royalmount Drive-In Theatre will finally give Montrealers a chance to offer themselves an hour or two of respite from the mental and physical fatigue of living with the daily threat of the coronavirus," C3 Events and Total Events, the companies behind the initiative, wrote in a press release announcing its opening.
The admission price per vehicle for the movie screenings if $40. Admission to "United in Diversity" is determined by donation.