There's something about watching a movie at a drive-in the crackly feel of the grass below the big screen where kids romp before the previews; the smell of salty popcorn drenched in butter; freshly-bathed kids in jammies preparing to hunker down in the back seat of the minivan to watch the evening's offering.
Alas, Port Alberni doesn't have a drive-in theatre anymore in fact, there are precious few of them left in the province.
That, however, is a minor point for Karen Freethy and other members of Port Alberni's Parks and Recreation Department.
On Thursday, Aug. 21, Parks and Rec is going to be bringing the drive-in experience to Port Alberni.
A movie supply company will bring in a movie-theatre-sized inflatable screen and its own projection and sound systems to play a movie.
The whole idea began when Freethy was on a family holiday in Hawaii six years ago.
My husband and I...were walking along Waikiki Beach and came upon a large screen and vendors selling popcorn, she says.
She thought it would be a great idea to bring back to Port Alberni.
She searched for a supplier for a few months, but had no success finding one and the idea died.
A few months ago though, she was contacted by a company that had been running outdoor movies in other Vancouver Island communities.
She quickly approached several community sponsors to help bring the theatre here.
We have our Our Town events...it's along the same lines, Freethy said.
It's a great way for families to get out together.
The screen will be set up inside the running track, closest to the AV Multiplex.
People are free to sit in the grandstands at Bob Dailey Stadium, or set up lawn chairs or blankets on the grass inside the oval.
Freethy anticipates 600 to 700 people to show up at the movie, but says she wouldn't be surprised if there were more.
Powell River, for example, drew 2,500 to an outdoor movie held last year in that community.
The movie will be suitable for all ages. Unfortunately, due to strict rules from the movie company, Freethy is not permitted to release information about what movie will be showing.
Events kick off at 7 p.m. with a concession, bouncy tent and other kid-oriented events.
The movie starts at dusk, around 8:45 p.m. and will run for about 90 minutes.
Parks and Rec will provide popcorn, candy, chips, etc. The Shriners will have a concession stand with hotdogs, drinks and other items.
Admission is free. The event will be held according to the weather.