Sept. 10: Cine-Parc Satellite, Paquetville NB

It’s Day 253 of my virtual Drive-In-a-Day Odyssey. I left a comfortable pit stop barely across the border in Madawaska ME and resumed the Canadian portion of my trip. Once across the St. John River, it took almost four hours of driving lonely, tree-lined highways to reach the Cine-Parc Satellite in Paquetville NB.

This is normally the place where I recount the history of my drive-in of the day. This time, I’ve got almost nothing to tell. Mike Rivest’s Movie-Theatre.org pretty much guessed that the drive-in was open from about 2002 to 2005, owned by Paul Marcel Albert. I’ve found other references that Albert owned the nearby Ciné-Parc Bellevue, which closed after the 2012 season, but nothing else linking him to the Satellite. And obviously, the Satellite must have reopened at some point, if it was ever closed.

My strongest source is a September 2012 article in Acadie Nouvelle, which says that the Satellite’s owner at the time was Gabriel Foulem. He was pondering the expense of switching to digital projection. “On est en période de réflexion,” Foulem said. “Tout le monde s’attendait à ce que (le passage au numérique) ait lieu en 2014. Puis là, subito presto, on nous dit qu’à la fin octobre (de cette année) il n’y aura plus de 35 mm.” Which might translate to “We are in a period of reflection. Everyone expected (the switch to digital) to take place in 2014. Then suddenly we are told that by the end of October (this year) there will be no more 35mm.”

I barely missed a meeting of the Mustang Owners Club of the Acadian Peninsula, which got together at the Satellite on Sept. 9.

The Satellite started a Facebook page in June 2013, and that’s where it posted the above video just last week. Maybe if you dive deep into all the posts and photos there, you might be able to uncover a few more clues about its origin.

And that’s about it. I’m not even sure what municipality claims the Satellite. It’s in a settlement / neighborhood / something called Bois Blanc between the villages of Saint-Isidore and Paquetville and just south of Paquetville Parish.

After a week in Quebec, I thought I had missed the opportunity of a French-language movie night, but I got it this night. Since this was my sixth viewing of The Hitman’s Bodyguard, it was pretty easy for me to keep up.

Miles Today / Total: 194 / 29278 (rounded to the nearest mile)

Movie Showing / Total Active Nights: Mon Meilleur Ennemi (The Hitman’s Bodyguard) / 163

Nearby Restaurant: The closest restaurants are in Paquetville. Since I’d already used up my Tim Hortons visit, I chose La Crêpe Bretonne. The menu had a little bit of everything, but I was overdue for a healthy meal so I tried “Salade Bertha,” which came with vegetables, parmesan cheese and shrimp.

Where I Virtually Stayed: There aren’t any hotels really close to the Satellite, so I ended up in Caraquet, home to that closed Ciné-Parc Bellevue. I was glad to see a Super 8 there, a familiar sign in a foreign land. It had an indoor pool with a little corkscrew water slide, outdoor views of Chaleur Bay, and a clean room with a full set of modern amenities. The continental breakfast was enough to get me going for another Canadian day.

Only in Paquetville Caraquet: The Super 8 is across the street from Musée Acadien, a small-town museum dedicated to the history of Caraquet Acadia. It’s inexpensive, and it’s all in French. Thank goodness for Google Translate on my phone.

Next stop: Brackley Drive In, Brackley Beach PE.

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