After having been closed for the past several seasons, the Shamrock Drive In in Killarney is looking to open in July of this year. Joanne Struss tells bdnmb.ca that the last movie they played at the drive-in (Cinderella) was on May long weekend back in 2015. To say that Joanne and her husband Daren faced many obstacles in re-opening would be an understatement. In 2015 they lost 1/2 the screen during a severe storm. While waiting for repairs to the original screen a second wind storm in 2016 took down the other half of the screen. Due to the availability of movies from the studios they also had to look at converting from 35mm to a new digital projector.
In speaking with bdnmb.ca earlier today Joanne described her excitement for the drive-ins re-opening and provided a brief history of all that has transpired into getting the business operational again. They purchased a digital projector back in 2016 from a drive-in in Idaho. Several months ago the couple secured 4-large shipping containers (40′ long and 9’6” feet high) that will be the backbone of the new outdoor screen. Three of the containers were stacked on top on one another while the fourth was positioned at the back for stability. With the newly installed shipping containers serving as the screen and the digital projector in-hand, the drive-in is once again equipped to operate.
She went on to say that there is still some work to complete prior to opening. They have to inquire as to what movies may be available this summer, test the projector(s), and fill in the seems on the shipping containers. Concession services will be available. The drive-in has room for approximately 180 cars and you have the option of using an old time speaker for your window or listening to clear FM sound on 88.3 through your own car stereo.
The family first purchased the business back in 2011 and is eagerly waiting on re-opening this summer. When asked why they continued to look for avenues to re-open after so many years away, Joanne said “I feel in love with the business.”