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Drive-in movie set for Halloween night

Fort Macleod residents have the opportunity for a unique Halloween celebration.

Family and Community Support Services will host a drive-in movie Saturday, Oct. 31 at Midnight Stadium.

The free screening of Sonic the Hedgehog replaces the annual Community Halloween Party.

“We can’t encourage 350 people to gather,” FCSS director Angie O’Connor said of the cancelled party at the community hall. “It’s just not appropriate in these times.”

Large public gatherings are prohibited in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19.

As an alternative, FCSS and the Elks Club decided to try a drive-in movie.

“We’re changing it up and thought we would try something a little different,” O’Connor said.

FCSS rented an inflatable drive-in movie screen that will be placed in the parking lot at Midnight Stadium.

That’s close to the location of a drive-in movie theatre operated in the 1950s and ’60s by Dan Boyle, who also owned the Empress Theatre at one time.

People will be able to listen to the movie by tuning into FM radio while watching it on the screen.

“The movie that we’ve chosen we’re hoping is fun and cheerful,” O’Connor said. “It’s a family movie.”

“We wanted to encourage families to get out and have another option. We really wanted to be able to provide something that is a fun activity.”

O’Connor said although the pandemic has limited activities for close to eight months, it is important to find new things to enjoy — like a drive-in movie.

“A lot of times it will be our attitude and approach that is remembered,” O’Connor said. “Instead of saying we can’t do something, let’s shift it around to say, hey we can do this. Let’s do something fun and positive.”

A limit of 100 vehicles will be allowed into the drive-in movie, so people have to get advance tickets at www.macleodempress.com.

That is the same place to pre-order the popular Empress Theatre popcorn for pick-up prior to the movie.

“There’s probably many people who have never been to a drive-in movie, so here’s another opportunity,” O’Connor said.

Members of the Elks Club, which for decades has hosted the Community Halloween Party, will serve as volunteers at the drive-in movie.

Gates open at 6:15 p.m. with Sonic the Hedgehog screening at 7 p.m., weather-permitting.

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