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What you need to know about COVID-19: August 14, 2020
BRACKLEY, P.E.I. — It’s showtime at the Brackley Drive-In.
Like every business owner across P.E.I., Bob Boyle has made significant adjustments to his operation as deal with the health restrictions from the provincial government.
The drive-in has to green light to open on Friday and Boyle already has the first four weekends planned when it comes to movie product.
Some of the changes made at the drive-in were planned long in advance of the pandemic while others have been made to keep patrons safe.
For the time being, at least, the drive-in will operate at half capacity so there is at least eight to 10 feet between vehicles. Boyle says there will also be parking attendants that will direct each vehicle to a spot in front of the screen. In the past, customers could park wherever they wanted to but times have changed.
“We’re asking people to be patient with us as we make these adjustments,’’ Boyle said Wednesday.
Canteen service will be available but only six people, three per side, will be allowed in and everyone must stand at least six feet apart. The canteen menu has been simplified to try and get people in and out within a minute.
Fries will still be available but there won’t be any hamburgers or hot dogs. And, there will be only one size for popcorn and pop.
Boyle has added two handwashing stations on either side of the canteen and two additional portable women’s washrooms, giving the drive-in a total of six washrooms at the canteen now (including the two family/wheelchair accessible washrooms).
Boyle will be rotating his staff to ensure all washrooms and high-touch areas, such as door handles, are sanitized at a minimum of every 30 minutes.
“A sanitation plan is in place that we’ve reviewed with (provincial) environmental health officials,’’ he said.
NEED TO KNOW
A summary of the changes made at the Brackley Drive-In to comply with provincial health regulations:
- Two new handwashing stations, one on either side of the canteen.
- Maximum of six people allowed in the canteen, three on either side.
- Simplified menu so people are in and out quick.
- Touchless debit payment offered at admission gates but people asked to bring exact change. Admission is $10 for adults, $20 for couples or $30 for families.
- Two portable washrooms have been added on the women’s washroom side of the canteen.
- Parking attendants will be working to place each vehicle in the viewing area.
- Vehicles will be placed at least eight to 10 feet apart.
- Washrooms and high-contact surfaces will be sanitized at least every 30 minutes.
As for the admission gate, Boyle said they will be offering a contactless debit pay system but added that the internet connection will occasionally stop working so he’s asking people to bring exact change. Admission will be $10 for adults, $20 for a couple or $30 for a family.
And, all of that is just the traditional movie side of the operation.
Boyle is also dealing with people, organizations and schools day and night who are looking to use the drive-in for events like graduations, weddings and concerts.
Colonel Gray High School in Charlottetown, for example, is working with Boyle and the provincial government to produce a video of the Class of 2020, about 280 students, and have it broadcast on the drive-in screen.
Boyle said he has also had a number of conversations with elementary schools in the province about holding Grade 6 graduation ceremonies. Students would be lined up six feet apart, walk onto the stage when their name is called and return to the family vehicle to watch the rest of the ceremony.
One of the changes Boyle has made to the drive-in is he has added a second screen and viewing area directly next to the original property. This is where the graduation ceremonies will take place.
Boyle also has a wedding booked for October and is in communication with wedding planners for other nuptuals.
“They are quite excited about the opportunity and they are canvassing their clients to see who wants to take advantage of this opportunity,’’ Boyle said, adding that he prefers to work with wedding planners than having couples reach out to him.
And, Boyle is even entertaining the idea of hosting small local live concerts and maybe even a big show.
Texas-based Encore Productions, which represents artists like Garth Brooks and Blake Shelton, contacted Boyle to see if he would be interested in being part of a North American-wide simulcast concert.
However the season will start off the way it always has, with movies. Opening weekend will feature Bad Boys for Life and Fantasy Island, what Boyle considers adult content. The owner wants to work out any kinks before a younger audience arrives.
- JOHN DeMONT: Pandemic may spell comeback of perfect magic of drive-in movies
- LETTER: Drive-in theatres in Nova Scotia should open during pandemic
- Brackley Drive-In looking to create some innovative memories this season
- Chris Knight: Is this the year of the drive-in?
- Owner of P.E.I. drive-in plans to open but will make changes to comply with physical distancing rules
- Brackley Drive-in theatre is expanding because of Disney