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Miramichi, New Brunswick: Fundraiser Features Outdoor Movie
por Caleb Mitchell
Friday night I cozied up inside our car with a warm sweater and a cool fall air breezing through the cracked windows as I did something fewer and fewer people get to do these days.
I went to a drive-in movie.
The NBCC Year 2 animation students hosted the event in the parking lot of the school and families, teens and twenty-somethings came out.
It was a fundraiser for their trip to Ottawa.
It was wonderful to see the young ones running to the canteen in their pyjamasone person in our car even had the good sense to wear slippers.
The students put the shows on for free and only asked for donations.
They put a lot of work into the project getting the screen built and promoting the event and tons of cars came out.
They also sat out in the cold all night, bundled in blankets and having a good time while making sure everyone else was taken care ofselling everything from popcorn to hot chocolate and pizza.
With cold weather just around the corner I'm not sure if another outdoor movie night is in store for NBCC, but I for one hope they keep it up and I commend them from bringing a little much needed inexpensive, outdoor entertainment to the city. It is events like these that bring new life and character to a city that often neglects targeting a younger crowd being drawn to the Miramichi.
Fredericton has a similar outdoor Under the Stars Film Series hosted by the NB Film Co-op, also free, that started with a small fan base and now draws huge crowds of people of all agesfrom kids sitting out on blankets to the university crowd, to seniors looking to see an old classic.
Sadly, drive-in theatres as businesses are going the way of the dodo, so it's nice to see some small groups rejuvenating the outdoor theatre.
There's nary one left in New Brunswick.
The Cape Breton Drive-In, where I still frequent most summers when I go home for vacation, just renovated their bathrooms so it seems they are doing very well.
The owners have played up on the nostalgia which could be key to their success. The old canteen commercials play during intermission of the newest releases every night.
Women and kids from the 50s and 60s share their hot dog and cotton candy or fight over fries. The best is a clip of two boys fighting over french fries only to each be given a carton.
"Here's one happy fellow...and here's another," says the narrator as the boys munch away with black eyes.
Though the drive-in became hugely popular in the 50s, the first was created by a man in New Jersey in the 1930s.
The original slogan was "The whole family is welcome, no matter how noisy the kids are."
Which is kind of the perfect selling point. In fact, I still don't understand why drive-ins have become so decidedly unpopular. There's nothing more annoying than when the person in front of you at the regular movie theatre is talking loudlyand, let's face it, it's equally annoying when you are the one getting shushed. But being in your car with your honey or your friends means you can talk as much or as little as you like, watch as little or as much of the movie as you likeand not bother anyone else.
I suppose some of the argument for the decline in popularity is the invention of VCRs and DVDs that allow you to watch movies at home at your own leisure from the comfort of your couch.
But drive-ins serve as the perfect medianyou get privacy, but you still feel like you are getting out for a night on the town.
So here's a big thank you to NBCC for getting me up off the couch and creating a fun movie night for us film buffs.