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Tuesday, February 21, 2023

The Other Side of the Theatre

For most of the 1970s, I lived in northern Manitoba. My paternal grandmother lived in Cranberry Portage, so sometimes we drove a little further, to about 10 km south of Flin Flon, to the Big Island Drive-In. Because the summer days in northern Manitoba are so long, the shows tend to start pretty late. On a clear night, the stars were amazing; light pollution was, and is, pretty low up there. These days you listen to the movie's audio via your FM tuner, but back then we had to attach giant metal speakers to the window, and boy, were they heavy, at least for a small child like me. There was something really special about sitting in the front seat between Mom and Dad, sharing popcorn, a small soda clutched in one hand. 

I believe I saw at least three movies at Big Island, but I only remember two for certain: Heroes, starring Henry Winkler as a suffering veteran of the Vietnam War, and The Other Side of the Mountain, a drama based on the true story of skier Jill Kinmont. All I remember of the third film is a woman in a small brown room sitting at a piano while composing a song. 

I feel as though I also went to a drive-in theatre in Edmonton once, but I can't say for certain; I certainly don't remember what film I might have seen. 

The Big Island Drive-In remains open to to this day, so if I ever head back to Flin Flon, I won't let the opportunity to see a movie there pass me by. And wow, check out the concession offerings

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