May 26: Prairie Dog Drive In, Carlyle SK

Drive-In screen at sunset with two contrails in the sky

photo from the Prairie Dog Drive-In Facebook page

It’s Day 146 of my virtual Drive-In-a-Day Odyssey. In the middle of a week of lengthy drives, the hour and a half it took to get from Wolseley SK to the Prairie Dog Drive In in Carlyle felt like nothing.

The Prairie Dog opened in 1981 as Ken Par Cinema Cinema, built by husband and wife team, Evans and Mabel Parobec. In 1996, Ray and Frances Boutin and their family took over the drive-in and soon renamed it the Prairie Dog.

Ray Boutin told the Carlyle Observer in 2012 that he had the first digital drive-in projector in the province. “None of this would be possible without our sponsors and amazing local support,” explained Ray. “The switch was fairly expensive, but we are lucky enough to be in a supportive community.”

I was really happy that the Prairie Dog was open for the season, and that I caught it on a Friday night. The concession stand was hopping, selling hot dogs, popcorn and the usual suspects. The movie was The Boss Baby, which I saw for the third time. It’s such a family-friendly film that I’m a little surprised I haven’t seen it even more often. And I should probably end that last sentence with “yet”.

Miles Today / Total:  88 / 18170 (rounded to the nearest mile)

Movie Showing / Total Active Nights: The Boss Baby / 65

Nearby Restaurant: One of the drawbacks of a long drive is that I don’t get a chance to have lunch at my destination. I was reminded of that because of this day’s short drive, allowing me to visit Michael’s Coffee Shop & Bakery. I love coffee, and I love cinnamon buns, but neither work that well at dinner time. For a late-morning quasi-lunch, this was great.

Where I Virtually Stayed: Just a few miles further north from the drive-in, I stayed at the Bear Claw Casino. My room was surprisingly quiet, with decent wifi and a coffee maker, and the low rate included a continental breakfast. Do you suppose they expected to make up the difference when I visited the slot machines?

Only in Carlyle: On the way to Carlyle, I passed Kipling, home of a very large paperclip in front of the Paperclip Cottage Cafe. According to Atlas Obscura, the monument celebrates Kyle MacDonald’s 2005 achievement of trading a red paperclip for a house through 14 transactions. The statue is called the World’s Largest Paperclip, but it isn’t really.

Next stop: Sky-Vu Drive In, Warren MN.