End Of A Dream: Havelock Closes

The Havelock Family Drive-In screen at night with cars

Photo from the Havelock Facebook page

The Havelock Family Drive-In just west of Havelock ON was always a labor of love for Gordon Henderson, a part-time gig that he hoped would grow into a full-sized retirement. Last month, that hope expired when Henderson announced on Facebook, “Well it’s official. The Havelock Family Drive In is officially closed. The property has sold.” Apparently the buyer won’t be operating a drive-in there.

Henderson built the Havelock in 2010, and said he had wanted to do that ever since he was a teenager. I mentioned that plus a lot more when I stopped by during my virtual drive-in-a-day odyssey in 2017. In retrospect, that was just before things started going south.

According to Kawartha Now, Henderson launched a GoFundMe campaign that fall seeking $75,000, stating that he was “in a very hard situation” and “faced with the devastating news that I am in jeopardy of losing my lifelong dream my beloved drive-in.” It raised less than $5,000. The Havelock was dark for most of 2018, eventually opening for a few weekends in the fall. And now it’s gone for good.

Let these drive-in closures remind you to seize the opportunity whenever you get a chance to take in a night under the stars. Buy some popcorn and sodas, and thank the proprietors for being there. Like everything else, it’s always temporary, and you never really know how long you’ve got.

Ciné-Parc Templeton Closes In Quebec

The CBC reported this week of a closure with a possible silver lining in Quebec. The Templeton Drive-In Theatre, or Ciné-Parc Templeton, will not reopen this spring.

As I wrote during my virtual visit there in 2017, the Templeton had been open since 1974, always with the same owner, Paul Touchet. It was the only drive-in in North America, or probably anywhere, that showed movies in French and English, one screen each.

The good news, according to the CBC report, is that Touchet sold the Templeton’s equipment to the Belle Neige ski resort in Val-Morin, northwest of Montreal, and the resort plans to open its own drive-in later this spring. As always, I hope for the best.

Video: Examining A Drive-In Urban Legend

Here’s a treat for you to start off the new year. In his documentary short Twisted, Jay Cheel dissects the urban legend that in 1996, a tornado demolished a drive-in screen as it was showing the movie Twister, which included a sequence of a tornado demolishing a drive-in screen. Thanks to Vimeo, you can watch the whole thing here.

I wrote a little about this last August when I virtually visited the Can-View, the drive-in with the kernel of truth from which this legend sprang. It’s nice to see that someone else thought the topic was worth talking about. Enjoy!