The entrance and screen, Empire Theatres Drive-In, Westville, Nova Scotia.
The final screening of a film at the landmark Westville Drive-In happened in 2013. The Sobeys-owned Empire Company sold off their theater holdings to Cineplex in a 200 million dollar sale. That sale did not include the Westville Drive-In.
The frames of playground equipment remain, along with the frames of memories spanning sixty years for moviegoers from all around the province. People drove in from all over the province for the shows under the stars.
After seeing some films on the indoor screens, it almost became a tradition to see them again outdoors come the summer. If a movie was great, you looked forward to that summer night when you would see it again. If the film was rubbish, you didn’t waste your money to see it again.
Where the screening room and concession stand were located. As a very young kid, this was where I saw my first pinball machine. It began a lifetime hobby that inspired me to twice make the trip to Tim Arnold’s Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas.
Walking through here this past spring brought back many good times. The single disastrous evening I ever had here was the final show I saw on the outdoor screen. The dreadful 1998 addition to the Godzilla franchise. It was raining, there was lots going on in my life. I can laugh at it now.
Several people in the surrounding communities attempted to save this legendary location. While Empire has long said the land will be re-purposed, the structures still remain over a half-decade since the Drive-In’s closure. Anyone wanting to get the Drive-In experience can still go to The Brackley Drive-In Theatre on Prince Edward Island. The Brackley is set to have a second screen installed for the 2020 season, proving that screenings under the stars can still flourish for future generations of film fans.
Note: It has since been announced that the property was sold and would be opening for the summer 2020 season. It is now open under its’ original name the Highland Drive-In.
All photos are copyright 2019 Dann Alexander & Frogsong Productions. Please credit if using.