The film broker arrives tomorrow and he and partner Glenn Robinson will be selecting movies for their new enterprise: the Y-Town Drive-In Theater. The inflatable German-made screen and projector are in transit. The 900-pound screen is 30 feet tall, by 53 feet long.
“They recommended we start with a smaller size, but we said we wanted bigger,” said Collishaw.
“We want people to have the best experience.”
The men have land agreements with several different partners for projection behind Chuck’s Diner on the Hardscratch Road, where an estimated 300 cars can park. Cleanup of the property is underway and gravel will be added to the area, which will be referred to as the Tire Lot when ready.
For a soft opening of shows in mid-June, setup will be at the Mariners Centre on the Yarmouth exhibition site.
Viewers will be able to access sound through an FM station. Show prices will be $20 for two or less, $25 for three or more and $5 to walk in.
Movies will be shown Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, with more days possibly added later.
The operators are considering everything from double features to overnight shows (dusk-to-dawn). Because the screen is portable, other locations could include the movie Jaws on the waterfront during the Yarmouth Shark Scramble from chairs, with Ocean Blue music providing the sound.
The Chuck Wagon will offer popcorn, nachos, soft drinks, candy, poutine, onion rings, sausages and possibly cotton candy at each show location.
When shows are scheduled at the Tire Lot, customers will be able to order dinner-and-a-movie specials.
Collishaw says that data from their Y-Town Theater Facebook page indicates that 81 per cent of post engagement is from women.
“That kind of shows you that when you’re booking these movies, you have to think, ‘What does your girlfriend want to see?’” he laughed.
The new business has tourism potential as well, he says.
“If you’re driving here from Shelburne, you may want to stay overnight. The town is going to benefit from this experience, not just us.”
The enterprise represents considerable investment from the partners. CBDC is supplying 75 per cent ($150,000 loan) for the project.
Although traffic line-ups may be a concern for some customers, Collishaw has handled these before.
He’s a member of the Yarmouth County Ground Search & Rescue team and says he has years of experience with traffic management at the Yarmouth exhibition.
“We’re used to parking cars,” he said.
Advance tickets (sold at Chuck’s Diner) will have a separate entrance. The debit machine is cellular so staff can walk down the line selling tickets.
“We can get people in fairly quickly. The big thing is, how fast can you park your car?” asked Collishaw.
For the latest updates on Y-Town Drive-in Theater check out their Facebook Page