It’s Day 240 of my virtual Drive-In-a-Day Odyssey, and my 15th in Ontario. Heading east northeast along the province’s amazingly perpendicular, though not compass-oriented, grid of highways, it took me a little over an hour to drive from the former village of Sharon to the Lindsay Twin Drive-In Theatre just east of the community of Lindsay. More municipality weirdness: Lindsay is the seat of the City of Kawartha Lakes, formerly Victoria County. How a community can be the seat of a city that used to be a county would take up a whole week of a Canada 101 course, and I still might not understand. But I digress.
The Lindsay has been around a very long time, so long that its origins are out of reach of the internet. It was around in 1953, owned by H. J. Ochs, and has probably been active ever since. From there it gets fuzzy until Larry Baxter enters the picture. According to his LinkedIn page, Baxter acquired the Lindsay in June 2000. In 2005, he told visitors from KarowPrime Films, “As long as we have sunsets, we’ll have drive-in movie theatres.”
The back of what had to be the original screen tower went through a lot of changes during Baxter’s ownership. As documented in a wonderful series of photos by Michael Poulton, it went from irregularly painted, possibly rusting metal panels (2002) to a painted uniform burnt yellow complete with name (2005), to a badly faded yellow (2010) to a bright painted red (2012). You really should check out the photos; the final result looks great.
In May 2015, Kawartha Lakes This Week announced that Danny Zita had purchased the Lindsay and was adding nostalgic elements to the grounds. Already the owner of the Owen Sound, Zita was contacted by Baxter to see if he wanted to add this drive-in. “Since taking over the business, Mr. Zita has improved the concession stand by updating appliances, adding a grill and cotton candy machine, and getting rid of the cafeteria counter concept. He’s also added amusement games, a kiddy ride and a free play jukebox.”
“Drive-ins are a fun place to be,” Zita said. “We want people to have a great time, make new memories and want to come back.”
Rather that watch The Hitman’s Bodyguard for the third night in a row, I actually chose The Nut Job 2. I was going to start a drinking game for every pointless sight gag, but since I needed to drive back to my room, I did it with Coca-Cola.
Miles Today / Total: 51 / 28061 (rounded to the nearest mile)
Movie Showing / Total Active Nights: The Nut Job 2 / 154
Nearby Restaurant: Lunch at the Durham Cafe was a nice reward for getting to town before noon. It was a day to eat healthy, so I tried the coconut chicken salad with almonds and mandarin oranges. That way I could save enough room for some tart lemon pie for dessert.
Where I Virtually Stayed: The Days Inn in Lindsay has got to be one of the best of that entire hotel chain. It’s only been open for a couple of years, so everything still felt fresh. It has an indoor salt water pool. My room had a mini fridge and solid wifi. There was a hot breakfast in the morning. I wish that all Days Inns could be as good as this one.
Only in Lindsay: Just down the road in Peterborough, the crazy furniture trend continues. There’s a giant rocking chair in front of Craftworks at the Barn. Actually, it just looks like a rocking chair; it doesn’t actually rock. Considering what a rocking motion would do to any passenger that high up, maybe that’s a good thing.
Next stop: Port Hope Drive In, Cobourg ON.