Notably, the Twilight Drive-In website proudly states on its main page that it is “Metro Vancouver’s only drive-in movie theatre!”
The last remaining Drive-In theatre in Metro Vancouver has adapted to the new “pandemic” normal
By Brandon Yip, Senior Columnist
With COVID-19 restrictions being lifted in BC, there is a sense of optimism that a return to normal is imminent. People want to return to their normal routines. Whether it is reestablishing human connections with friends and relatives, working out at the gym, attending concerts, weddings, or religious ceremonies. On the exotic end, a pleasurable activity sorely missed for the past two years the international vacation travelling has now returned.
In addition, some people want to return to watching movies at the theatre as per usual. Another option for moviegoers is to drive to the last remaining drive-in theatre in Metro Vancouver, the Twilight Drive-In located in Langley (260th Street and Fraser Highway). The theatre has adapted to COVID-19 restrictions since March 2020.
According to a March 2019 article in The Times Colonist, the theatre opened in 2005. It is open from late winter till the late fall. Metro Vancouver has a rich history of drive-in theatres going back to the late 1940s. There was the Cascades in Burnaby (1946 till 1980), the short tenure of the Lion’s Drive-In in North Vancouver (1951 till 1955)—and another North Shore Drive-In, the Odeon (1958 till 1978).
According to the official Twilight Drive-In website, current movies showing from March 18 to 20 were Sing 2 and Dog. The theatre states online tickets are available and reiterates as part of a temporary COVID-19 policy, “Due to reduced capacity and [unprecedented] high demand for tickets at this time, [pre-purchasing] tickets online is highly recommended. Your ticket will guarantee you entry, but it does not guarantee you a specific parking spot (there is no saving or reserving of specific spots).” The gates are open 90 minutes before the start of the first show on Fridays, Saturdays and long weekends—and 45 minutes before the first shows on Sundays till Thursdays. The theatre, if necessary, will open earlier if there are long lineups.
The audio is broadcast via FM radio (portable battery-powered boombox or car radio will suffice). But if you are using your car radio, turning your key to the “Accessory” position will use less power. The Twilight recommends, “If you’re concerned about your battery or if you are sitting outside or in the back of your truck, you may want to bring a portable battery-powered boombox. There is no app to listen to the movie soundtrack; an FM tuner is required. Please note: [we do not rent radios].”
Furthermore, no outside food or drinks are allowed. The concession stand accepts only cash or Interac. Also, proper etiquette must be adhered to while at the Twilight. Headlights and taillights must be turned off during the movie. And there is no sitting on top of your vehicle blocking the view of others who are parked behind. No drugs or alcohol are permitted. And no grills, barbeques, fires, fire pits, propane heaters, drones, fireworks or laser pointers. The theatre implores moviegoers to be “…considerate of those around you. Don’t raise your voices or use profanity to disturb others. Volume and bass are restricted if it’s disturbing others.”
Additionally, the theatre is accommodating customers with disabilities as their website states, “We will make every reasonable effort to accommodate the needs of individuals with disabilities. Since parking spots are limited close to the concession and washrooms, please arrive early for these spots, as they are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.”
Lastly, the Twilight Drive-In continues to be open for business. And significantly, it has survived the pandemic while adapting to it. Its legacy and appeal have endured like peoples’ unconditional love for the drive-in theatre. Notably, the Twilight Drive-In website proudly states on its main page that it is “Metro Vancouver’s only drive-in movie theatre!” And that is why it is so special.
For more info about the Twilight Drive-In
1 vehicle with 1 person: $25.00
1 vehicle with 2 people: $35.00
1 vehicle with 3 people: $45.00
1 vehicle with 4 people: $55.00
1 vehicle with 5 people: $65.00
1 vehicle with 6 people: $75.00
1 vehicle with 7 people: $85.00
Additional passengers at the gate: $15 each
(Prices include GST)