WIFF Under The Stars: A Drive In Movie Theatre Experience Coming To Festival Plaza

Windsor International Film Festival (WIFF) will transform Riverfront Festival Plaza into a nostalgic drive-in movie theatre experience when “WIFF Under the Stars” premieres later this month. This first time community event was announced at a press conference at Riverfront Festival Plaza this past Wednesday (Aug. 5) and will run from Aug. 28 to Sept. 12.

Understandably, local festivals have been cancelled for 2020 because of the current pandemic, leaving the community, including WIFF goers disappointed. “Everyone has had a tough few months,” said Vincent Georgie, Executive Director of WIFF. So organizers of WIFF have come up with a retro-way to get out of the house and enjoy some fun flicks. “Let’s give people some escapism, adventure, comedy, and romance and ride out the summer with some fun and style.”

“We know there’s a pent up energy, a demand in the community, people want to get out and they want to enjoy the community and the summertime in a safe way, and frankly have a new experience,” said City of Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens.

Dilkens reminisced about the exciting experience of going to the Skyway Drive In movie theatre here in Windsor as a kid, a place he said many people at the press conference were far too young to remember. The Skyway operated from around 1948 to 1985.

“As far as I know, the Windsor area used to have four drive-ins: three were owned by the Dydzak Family: Skyway Theatre on County Road 42, the Windsor Drive-In on Walker Road near Highway 3 and one in St. Clair Beach,” says Elaine Weeks in her article published on the Windsor Then Windsor Now website. “There was also the Famous Four, where Silver City Theatres are now located on Walker at Provincial Road.”

Mayor Dilkens and the City Council were on board with “WIFF Under The Stars” the moment Georgie approached them. “To have that experience here in the city in such a great space like the one we’re standing in was easy to get behind and support,” says Dilkens.

Also getting behind the event are presenting sponsor Liuna 625, in partnership with St. Clair College and The University of Windsor, and with support from Lisa & Brian Schwab Foundation, Toldo Foundation, Hotel Dieu Grace Healthcare Foundation, Tourism Windsor Essex & Pelee Island, Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association, and the Government of Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture.

To ensure safety, vehicles will be reasonably spaced apart and people will not be allowed to leave their vehicles with the exception of using the washroom. Masks must be worn and social distancing is required when using the restrooms.

Popcorn, pop, and small concession items will be available for purchase and must be ordered from a volunteer that will come to your vehicle.

The movies are fan favorites from the past few decades. The most modern film on the schedule, from 2020, The Cuban, will be screened on Labour Day weekend.

“A little bit of old, a little bit of new, there’s something for everyone,” said Georgie. This includes 10:00am family matinees on select dates ($20 per vehicle) and evening double features starting at 7:45pm with 15 minute intermissions between shows ($40 per vehicle).

WIFF Under The Stars Schedule

Friday, Aug. 28

Matinee
Holes

Double Feature
Dirty Dancing
Air Force One

Saturday, Aug. 29

Matinee
Aladdin

Double Feature
Dr. No
Goldfinger

Sunday, Aug. 30

Matinee
Finding Nemo

Double Feature
A League of Their Own
The Impossible

Monday, Aug. 31

Matinee
The Boxtrolls

No Double Feature

Tuesday, Sept. 1

Double Feature
Inglorious Bastards
The Babadook

Wednesday, Sept. 2

Double Feature
Chicago
Thelma & Louise

Thursday, Sept. 3

Double Feature
When Harry Met Sally
Single White Female

Friday, Sept 4

Double Feature
Reservoir Dogs
Pulp Fiction

Saturday, Sept. 5

Matinee
Cars

Double Feature
Crimson Tide
The Silence of The Lambs

Sunday, Sept. 6

Matinee
Ratatouille

Double Feature
The Cuban
Shall We Dance

Monday, Sept. 7

Double Feature
Legally Blonde
The Thomas Crown Affair

Tuesday, Sept. 8

Double Feature
John Wick
John Wick 2

Wednesday, Sept. 9

Double Feature
The Hand That Rocks The Cradle
The Others

Thursday, Sept 10

Double Feature
Spaceballs
Groundhog Day

Friday, Sept 11

Double Feature
Sister Act
21 Jump Street

Saturday, Sept. 12

Matinee
Toy Story

Double Feature
Kill Bill Vol 1
Kill Bill Vol 2

Georgie said tickets are expected to fully sell out by the time “WIFF Under The Stars” starts.

For more information or to purchase tickets visit: https://windsorfilmfestival.com

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Event Listing: WIFF Under The Stars