May 22: Clearwater Drive-In Theater, Kyle SK

Clearwater Drive-in box office with screen in background

photo by Canada Good, from the Carload Flickr pool

It’s Day 142 of my virtual Drive-In-a-Day Odyssey. I returned to Canada, driving almost seven hours (not counting the time waiting to cross at the border) almost due north from Billings MT to the Clearwater Drive-In Theater north of Kyle SK.

According to a YouTube video by Craig Baird, the Clearwater, named for nearby Clearwater Lake, opened in 1957. The original screen blew down in 1987. A post on BigDoer said the replacement screen came from “a closed drive-in found in another Saskatchewan town.”

(That BigDoer post includes a description of a typical night at the Clearwater, which happened to include a visit from the Northern Lights. And they have photos to prove it!)

Current owners Denise and Ken bought the place in 1988, upgraded to platters in 1999, then upgraded to digital projection in 2013.

At this time of year, the Clearwater is only open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays leaving me out of luck on a Monday night. But here’s that YouTube video to remind us what it looks like when it’s running.

Miles Today / Total:  417 / 17053 (rounded to the nearest mile)

Movie Showing / Total Active Nights: dark / 63

Nearby Restaurant: What do you expect at a place called Heidi’s Burger? Chinese food, of course. This humble little place on the main highway through town serves up some solid Shanghai noodles. There were a lot more items on the menu, but I can only eat so much at once.

Where I Virtually Stayed: There really isn’t a lot to choose from in remote Kyle, so I got a two-bedroom suite at the Kyle Hotel. It had a kitchen with a fridge and a microwave, and there’s a cafe on-site for breakfast. I was just glad to have a roof over my head and a bathroom all to myself.

Only in Kyle: On the north side of town in Kinsmen Park. there’s a 10-foot-high cement replica of a woolly mammoth. According to Big Things, the Monuments of Canada, “Wally” is a replica of the actual mammoth that was unearthed nearby in 1964 by a scraper blade during road construction. It was built in 1981 and restored in 2001.

Next stop: Moonlight Movies Drive-In Theater, Lumsden SK.

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