Prior to pandemic closures, the Gate House Theatre in Port McNeill was a vital community arts hub featuring live music, plays, dance and film. This project helped Gate House adapt and recover by bringing to the North Island an innovative version of a classic entertainment venue: the drive-in movie. The association purchased a large inflatable screen, a weatherized movie projector, and a transmitter capable of FM broadcasting directly to car radios. The open-air format allowed attendees to safely watch from the comfort of their vehicles. These successful events were sponsored by local businesses, and run by youth workers and volunteers.
The drive-in theatre has expanded Gate House’s offerings and opportunities. Future development plans include inviting craft and farmer venders to participate, hosting live music events prior to films, and increasing sponsorship and advertising. The portable equipment may also be used to enhance established North Island summer and cultural festivals, and rented to other community groups.