Transforming an airport parking lot into a drive-in movie theatre

It’s not your typical airport amenity. The CAA Summer Drive-in Series, a drive-in movie theatre, has popped up in the Economy Parking Lot at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport. To create the unique, family-friendly entertainment option, it took weeks of planning and one long day to set up.

A transport truck hauling 25 containers of supplies pulled into the parking lot just before 9 a.m. on Monday. As AVentPro’s six-person crew unloaded thousands of pounds of video, audio and electrical equipment, a crane stacked six shipping containers to form the structure for the massive movie screen.

Each film will be shown on a state-of-the-art, HD screen measuring nine metres by five metres. Ninety LED panels, supported by 100 feet of truss, were connected together to create the 7.8 million pixel screen. The technology behind it allows for the brightness to be changed so movies can be played at any time of the day in any weather condition. To power the entire drive-in movie theatre, a standard plug was converted into a 100 amp, three phase outlet, which produces more electricity than what most people have in their home.

Several measures have been taken to keep every person attending a movie safe. Physical distancing protocols outlined by the Province of Manitoba will be followed plus concessions can be purchased via a contactless system. Under the guidance of a team of engineers, the shipping containers were also filled with 40,000 pounds of concrete ballast to make the setup structurally sound.

As the sun started to set Monday, the last member of AVentPro’s crew left the parking lot – more than 12 hours after arriving. Several more hours will be devoted to testing the system prior to opening night to ensure an enjoyable experience for every movie goer.

Car passes for the CAA Summer Drive-In Series are priced at $30 plus fees. Profits will be donated to three local organizations playing a critical role in the community amid the COVID-19 pandemic: the Health Sciences Centre Foundation COVID-19 Crisis Response Fund, Winnipeg Harvest and United Way Winnipeg. Tickets will go on sale to the general public Wednesday. For showtimes and to purchase a car pass, visit YWGmovies.ca

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