A drive-in theatre will set up temporarily this weekend at the Cowichan Exhibition. Tickets go on sale Monday at 5 p.m. and are sure to go fast, with only 50 available each night. (Langley Advance Times files)

Hot ticket: Tickets available for Island drive-in theatre experiences

Lion King coming to the big screen at the Cowichan Exhibition, as well as sites in Alberni, Nanaimo

Are you missing your regular night out at the movies?

It’s coming back. With a twist of starlight.

The old-fashioned drive-in theatre experience is returning to a handul of Island communities, as Duncan, Nanaimo and Port Alberni stage special viewing events this month.

Mussio Sports & Entertainment Group announced they will be showing the new Lion King movie during a drive-in event in Port Alberni on Friday, June 26.

Meanwhile, Fresh Air Cinema is bringing Onward and The Lion King to the big screen at the Cowichan Exhibition June 5 and 6, offering families a way to enjoy a night out with their loved ones while staying safe in light of COVID-19 as part of a B.C. summer tour. All events will be free or free by donation with 100 per cent of proceeds going to a local charity in each community.

“In a time when we’ve had to adapt to physical distancing, and when so many families and friends have been forced to spend time alone in their homes, we’re excited to once again bring the joy of drive-in movies to families across the province,” said Jason Bashnick, managing director, Fresh Air Cinema. “These offer a place where we can all connect safely and watch our favourite stories on screen under a starlit sky. It’s also a unique experience that allows family members to crunch homemade popcorn and slurp soda as loud as they like without bothering the people around them.”

The format aligns with COVID-19 social distancing guidelines set by health authorities, including limiting attendance to 50 vehicles and encouraging people to stay in their vehicles unless visiting the restrooms.

The is happening through a partnership with FortisBC and Coastal Community Credit Union will be matching donations up to $2,000. All donations are going to Nourish Cowichan, who are providing weekly food hampers to vulnerable families.

Tickets for Cowichan will go live at 5 p.m. on Monday, June 1 via Eventbrite. Movies start at dusk (about 9:15 p.m.), with gates opening at 8:15 p.m.

For more information about how to get tickets and when new dates/locations will be added please stay tuned into Fresh Air Cinema’s Facebook Page (Outdoor Movies BC) for further event announcements or visit www.freshaircinema.ca.

Meanwhile the similar Port Alberni event is also limited to 50 vehicles in order to follow COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, and all participants must pre-register.

“We have been working closely with the City of Port Alberni and Island Health to follow all the guidelines to bring a safe drive-in movie experience to the community,” said Tali Campbell, MSE General Manager.

The location of the drive-in theatre will be announced at a later date, said Campbell.

Campbell, who is also the business manager for the BCHL’s Nanaimo Clippers, has been working to organize five movie nights in Nanaimo prior to the Port Alberni date. He said the idea is to bring smiles to families’ faces during this difficult time.

The Port Alberni event is sponsored by Helen Poon and Alberni District Co-op, which will make it a free family event, although people are welcome to provide a donation with all proceeds going to KidSport Port Alberni.

Tickets for the event will be distributed by a random selection on June 16. In order to enter the draw, participants must register online by Monday, June 15 at 5 p.m.

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