Enderby, B.C.’s Starlight Drive-In facing uncertain summer after rule change

The Okanagan’s only drive-in movie theater is not sure what the rest of the summer season will look like following new limits set out by the province.

A recent update to a provincial health order limits drive-ins to 50 vehicles and bans food sales at drive-in events.

The change cuts the capacity of the Starlight Drive-In in Enderby, which had already limited attendance and given each vehicle a 20-foot parking stall.

B.C.’s provincial health officer said the new rules will prevent exposure to COVID-19 and make contract tracing easier if there is a case.

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“We know that people don’t stay in their cars all the time at these events, and the more people we have, the more chances that this virus can spread to a lot of other people,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry.

“It also makes our job in finding people much more challenging when there is exposures that happen over large numbers of people.”

While the show will go on at the Starlight Drive-In this weekend, the business said in a statement it will be reviewing its operations, and “how these changes impact the feasibility of our summer drive-in season.”

Although some feel the limits are too strict, Henry said the restrictions are needed for now.

“I think we need to be more cautious. We do not want to go back to where we were. We do not want to put to waste all of the efforts that we have done,” Henry said.

Henry stressed the limits won’t be in place forever and will be reassessed if COVID-19 transmission is limited in the coming weeks.

The Starlight Drive-In did not respond to interview requests from Global News on Tuesday.

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