Aug. 19: 5 Drive-in Theatre, Oakville ON

It’s Day 231 of my virtual Drive-In-a-Day Odyssey, and my sixth day in Ontario. It only took about a half hour to drive from the Starlite Drive In Theatre in Stoney Creek, just outside of Hamilton to the 5 Drive-in Theatre, just two miles west of the Ford plant in Oakville.

I’m really not sure when The 5 opened, but I have a theory. There once was the Oakville Drive-In, and according to a 1957 newspaper ad, it was “2 miles east of the Ford plant, between Q.E. and Dundas Hwys”. Two miles east on the road in front of the plant would be in Lake Ontario, but as I just wrote, two miles west would put you where The 5 is now. So if I’m right, that was its single-screen beginning in 1957 or earlier.

The International Motion Picture Almanacs indicate that the Oakville persisted until at least 1969, then by 1972 The 5 appeared and the Oakville was gone. On The 5’s old website’s History page, it said that it had been “(o)wned and operated by Premier Operating since the early 70’s”. So maybe the drive-in changed its name to the nearby Highway 5 (also known as the Dundas Highway) when Premier acquired it.

(A couple of other respected online sources claim The 5 opened in the mid 1960s, but that doesn’t match the almanacs or line up with the official history. But what do I know? It’s just a theory.)

What we know for sure is that The 5 was a single screen until Premier added a second in 1980 and a third in 2001. To read what it’s like today, and see some nice photos, check out a sponsored blog post about a trip there less than three weeks ago.

The video of the day is a YouTube trip through the winding entrance ramp to the iconic 5 sign on the central concession building. But you should really also check out an official video with plenty of aerial coverage showing just how busy it gets there.

I was so glad to be pointing at the huge original screen for my movie this night. The Hitman’s Bodyguard might not reward careful thought, but it’s a fun action movie that works well at a drive-in.

Miles Today / Total: 28 / 27614 (rounded to the nearest mile)

Movie Showing / Total Active Nights: The Hitman’s Bodyguard / 145

Nearby Restaurant: With the short drive, I had plenty of time to relax with my lunch at Stoney’s Bread Company. There are plenty of sandwiches available, but I wanted to fill up on healthy roughage for a change, so I went with the grilled chicken salad. There were pecans and asiago cheese in there, still it was better for me than a lot of my recent meals.

Where I Virtually Stayed: There are plenty of my kind of hotels in Oakville, but the one I chose this time was the Hilton Garden Inn. My comfy room had the full set of amenities including a Keurig coffee maker, and a very full breakfast was free in the morning thanks to my Hilton Honors gold status. I’d love to have this available at every stop.

Only in Oakville: The Oakville Museum is housed in the former estate of the town’s founding family. There’s an exhibit about the way Oakville celebrated Expo 67, and also displays about its history in the underground railroad and local black history.

Next stop: The Docks, Toronto ON.

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