May 23: Moonlight Movies Drive-In Theater, Lumsden SK

Inflatable drive-in screen at night

photo from the Midnight Movies Facebook page

It’s Day 143 of my virtual Drive-In-a-Day Odyssey. Driving from Kyle SK, it only took about three hours to reach Lumsden, current home of the Moonlight Movies Drive-In Theater. That was a different location that I had planned for when I drew up this trip last fall.

Here’s a question I’ve explored before: What is a drive-in movie theater? There are a few factors, but the most relevant to Moonlight Movies is that you do not need a screen tower but you do need a fixed, “permanent” location. Last year, Moonlight Movies had a screen tower, but for the 2017 season, they’re doing fine in a park.

According to Cinema Treasures, the Jubilee Drive-In up the road in Manitou Beach was built in 1951. That site has a permanent outdoor screen and an indoor 24-seat theatre. For at least the past several years, the Moonlight Movies folks ran the Jubilee. Then in February, Global News reported that they had been unable to get their lease renewed at the Jubilee, so they found a new place to show movies, at the River Park Campground in Lumsden. Moonlight Movies co-owner Shawn Barrett told CTV Regina, “Honestly, it’s a match made in heaven. It’s awesome out there.” The theater company signed a two-year deal with Lumsden.

At this time of year, Moonlight Movies is active only on Fridays and Saturdays, leaving me out of luck on a Tuesday night.

Miles Today / Total:  188 / 17241 (rounded to the nearest mile)

Movie Showing / Total Active Nights: dark / 63

Nearby Restaurant: At the Lumsden Valley Restaurant, you’re supposed to order pizza, so I did. Mine was just the way I like it, with homemade crust, a heap of toppings, and next to a beer. Sometimes the simple things are best.

Where I Virtually Stayed: The place to stay in Lumsden is, of course, the Lumsden Hotel, or as they call it, the Lumsden Hotel & Steak Pit. I was just glad to have a roof over my head, a comfortable bed, decent wifi and cable TV, and a bathroom to myself.

Only in Lumsden: If you get here in July or August, you might be able to check out the Lumsden Historical Museum. It’s made up of five pioneer buildings, a modern machine shed, a livery stable and blacksmith shop. Four of the pioneer buildings – church, house, school and community hall – contain artifacts that depict early district history. “Of special interest are our Bill Ogilvie Memorial Lily Garden and Arnie Robinson’s John Deere tractor collection.”

Next stop: Big Island Drive In Theater, Flin Flon MB.

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