Sudbury, Ontario: Family Camp hosts Outdoor Movies

In June, the Colasimone family assembled a 20-by-16 plywood screen as part of the latest expansion of their backyard theatre.  Photo supplied to The Sudbury Star. Old enough to remember the Highway 69 Drive-In? How about the Lasalle Drive-In? The Starlite in Hanmer? There was a time in Greater Sudbury when you could watch a movie from your car or take out a lawn chair, set it up in front of your vehicle and crank up the speaker volume. That's what it's like to experience the outdoor theatre at the Colasimone family camp on Ella Lake near Capreol. What started out as a projector and a nine-by-four screen featuring the occasional movie five years ago is a 20-by-16 permanent screen, a projection booth and nine speakers surrounding the screen. The current theatre was assembled in June. "How it started was one of my cousins died," said John Colasimone. "We had a party in his honour at the camp and my neighbour said 'I will bring my projector and screen to show the slides.' I said to myself 'this works great outside.' " Colasimone said the theatre started out small and kept growing. "Every year, it just got bigger," he said. "We started with a regular, standard-size screen. Then, we graduated to a four-by-eight section of plywood. Then, it became 10 feet." Colasimone said the area the backyard theatre encompasses is huge. "It's about the size of a drive-in," he said. "We love it." The Colasimones usually operate the theatre every Friday and Saturday after dusk until mid-October. On Friday nights, between eight and 50 people show up, many of them neighbours. On the Civic Holiday weekend, some 150 people attended a family reunion at the camp and experienced the theatre. There are no noise issues with the theatre because it is located "down a hole" and the sound doesn't escape,' said John. A fire pit is located at the drive-in site to help keep viewers warm when it's cool out. Colasimone said he has some 110 DVDs featuring concerts by bands from the late 1960s to the present day that are shown at the theatre. "Once you hear it, you will swear you are at the concert itself," he said. It should come as no surprise that John is proud of his family theatre, a project that has cost about $4,000. Not a fan of sitting inside movie theatres, he prefers the drive-in experience or renting a movie. "I haven't been to the theatre since 1981," he pointed out.



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