LAKE ORION (WXYZ) — After recently announcing that drive-in movies would be available in Lake Orion's Canterbury Village, the historical landmark is postponing its drive-in movie events, according to a Facebook message posted Wednesday.
The owner and operator, Keith Aldridge, was ready to open the drive-in this weekend but was told that can’t happen.
"As a small business owner, I’m starting to get nervous now," Aldridge said.
Village officials say the events were shutdown by order of the governor amid Michigan's state of emergency.
"We are extremely sorry to announce that Governor Whitmer has just shut down our SAFE and Family Friendly movie nights at Canterbury Village," the Facebook post on the Canterbury Village page read. "This is very unfortunate news because we are exceeding the proper social distancing guidelines. This was going to be a great event to make families feel normal again… even for just a few hours!!"
Canterbury Village is a favorite for many people, that’s why they decided to set up a drive-in theater, following all the governor's social distancing and health guidelines.
"Tuesday night we launched tickets sales at 6 o’clock, by 7 o’clock we were sold out," Aldridge said.
After they posted about the event on social media, they started selling out almost immediately. People just wanting a place to get away and perhaps take their minds off the coronavirus or just get out of the house.
"I’m extremely disappointed," Aldridge said. "I’m a father of three young boys who are home all day long with my wife. It’s very frustrating."
"We thought we were good. Our social distancing guidelines were spot on. We got 20 by 20 spots marked out for all the cars," he added.
Canterbury Village officials reiterated in the post that the events are only postponed and not canceled, and will resume at later dates, which are listed in the post.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's office responded to the shutdown saying that drive-in movies must remain closed during the state of emergency.
“Governor Whitmer’s first priority is the health and safety of all Michiganders as the state starts to safely reengage sectors of our economy," according to a statement from the governor's office. "The administration is in constant contact with health and business experts to build a path forward for each industry, and consistent with our executive orders drive-in movie theaters are to remain closed to the public at this time. Each decision will be based on data and facts to ensure that we can protect employees and patrons across the state.”
"We’re going to have the drive-in," Aldridge said. "And the response on social media, this is something that could be a long-term event for Canterbury Village, which is great."
People who have already purchased tickets for the events, which were set to happened Thursday, April 30 through Tuesday, May 5 – those tickets will remain valid for a later date, according to Canterbury Village officials.
Additional movie dates have also been added for the month of May and possibly into the month of June.
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