Drive-in movie theatres are reopening in the GTA

With most areas around Toronto in the red zone, drive-in movie theatres are getting ready to reopen on March 5

With many areas around Toronto now in the red zone of Ontario’s colour-coded COVID-19 reopening framework, drive-in movie theatres are starting to reopen.

Cinema chain Premier will reopen the 5 Drive in Oakville, the Stardust in Stoney Creek and the Starlite in Newmarket on March 5.

The opening weekend line-up includes recent Hollywood releases Wonder Woman 1984 and The Little Things, as well as older films Tom And Jerry, The Goonies, Fast Five and Ted.

Of course, the cinemas will have COVID-19 rules in place: patrons must stay in their vehicles except when using washrooms or buying concessions, and keep six feel apart from other vehicles and people when outside.

Drive-ins and many other types of businesses are allowed to operate under the red level of the provincial framework. Everywhere in Ontario has transitioned out of the stay-at-home order except Toronto, Peel Region and North Bay Parry Sound, which remain under the order until at least March 8.

However, York Region’s top doctor is mulling over increasing fines for individuals from $750 to $5,000 and up to $25,000 for corporations to crack down on rule breakers.

A video of a crowded HomeSense store in Thornhill that went viral earlier this week, prompting local politicians to call for steeper fines on big-box retailers.

Though restrictions are easing, residents are still being encouraged to stay at home and to avoid travelling between regions. Provincial public health officials have said the growing presence of fast-spreading COVID-19 variants are expected to cause a spike in new infections in the weeks head.

The lockdown restrictions helped reduce COVID-19 spread during the second wave, but the co-chair of Ontario’s science advisory table Dr. Adalsteinn Brown said earlier this week that public health indicators in Toronto, Peel Region and York are now “trending in the wrong direction.”

With indoor entertainment venues closed or operating under reduced capacity, drive-ins have returned as a viable option for a night out.

In Toronto, Ontario Place, Rebel nightclub and Live Nation and MLSE opened drive-ins last summer.


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