ORION TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — The show must go on for one Orion Charter Twp. business.
After selling hundreds of tickets and 2 attempts to open in the last 6 weeks were shut down by the Governor’s office, Canterbury Village opened it’s drive-in theater this afternoon, while the Ford-Wyoming drive-in which re-opened last night is now closed – again … in cooperation with Dearborn police.
So can a drive in movie theater open or can’t it?
In the Governor’s office’s Executive Order Q and A, it says movie theaters are not allowed to be open and specifically includes drive-in movie theaters, where you stay in your vehicle, but the owner of Canterbury Village says Orion Charter Twp gave him the go ahead.
“They said 2 thumbs up,” says Keith Aldridge, the owner of Canterbury Village. He has been preparing for today’s opening for over a month.
“I think what we are doing falls in line with safe guidelines and that’s why we feel we can open,” says Aldridge.
As vehicles pull in for the 1 pm matinee, tickets which must be purchased in advance, are scanned through the glass of a closed window.
In the five acre field, which can hold up to 500 vehicles, a maximum of 160 will be allowed in for each movie. Each vehicle will have its own 14 to 20 foot section. The movie’s sound plays through the FM radio, so no one needs to make contact with anything outside their own vehicle.
There are four showings a day scheduled through the weekend then 2 on Monday, with many kid friendly titles.
“We feel we are doing something very good for the community and safe, I want to stress, very safe for the community,” says Aldridge.
Meanwhile In Dearborn, the Ford-Wyoming drive-in marquee went from ‘now showing’ last night … to not showing after the Dearborn police issued them a cease and desist letter following their re-opening.
What happened last night in Dearborn, isn’t stopping Aldridge.
“We’re moving forward 100 percent
In accordance with the executive order, the shops at Canterbury Village are now open by appointment only and masks are required to be worn by all.
Aldridge says if Costco and other corporate retailers can be open, a locally owned drive-in movie theater with even less contact, should be able to be open too.
“Small businesses are so passionate about their customer base and they’ll go above and beyond to keep everyone safe,” says Aldridge.
As of the first two drive-in movie showings, Aldridge says everything has gone smoothly.
Additional Coronavirus information and resources:
Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.
View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.
Find out how you can help metro Detroit restaurants struggling during the pandemic.
See all of our Helping Each Other stories.
See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.