May 25: Twilite Drive In Theatre, Wolseley SK

It’s Day 145 of my virtual Drive-In-a-Day Odyssey. I don’t have many long drives left on my schedule, but this was one of them. It took almost seven hours of driving to travel from the far-north Big Island Drive In Theater near Flin Flon MB to the Twilite Drive In Theatre, just west of Wolseley SK.

The Twilite was the first drive-in in Saskatchewan when it opened in 1954, and it has remained in operation ever since. The town of Wolseley site says “Stan Zaba, with the help of a few local people, built the drive-in which opened in June of 1954 accommodating 225 cars. (Now) the Twilite Drive-in is still going, operated by Stan’s son, Don.”

The CBC ran an interview with Don Zaba at the start of the season last year. He said he usually starts the season with a Thursday free show. (Very smart on several levels – getting a dress rehearsal with a friendly audience, bringing a crowd to the concession stand on an early weeknight, and reminding the region that the drive-in is open for business again.)

Zaba told the CBC that he switched to digital in 2013. “We did a fundraiser in the town of Wolseley which was a success. We ended up buying the projector and a sound system and we’re operating today,” he said.

The Twilite is only open weekends this time of year, leaving me out of luck on a Thursday night.

Miles Today / Total:  411 / 18082 (rounded to the nearest mile)

Movie Showing / Total Active Nights: dark / 64

Nearby Restaurant: I heard that the best Indian food in town was at the Leland Hotel. It’s probably the only Indian food restaurant in this town of 1000 residents or so. The butter chicken is amazing, and the setting of an old hotel pub made the experience even more interesting.

Where I Virtually Stayed: I was there to eat, so I figured I might as well stay at the Leland Hotel. All I needed was a clean bed and a bathroom of my own, and the renovated rooms here took care of me.

Only in Wolseley: Just a few miles away in Indian Head SK, there’s … a giant Indian head. According to Roadside America, the painted 18-foot statue (8 of which is pedestal / base) was designed by Don Foulds from Saskatoon and built of metal pipe, metal mesh and three coats of cement.

Next stop: Prairie Dog Drive In, Carlyle SK.

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