St. John Valley

Family run drive-in kicks off another summer season in Madawaska

MADAWASKA, Maine — For nearly 45 years a sign of spring in Madawaska has been opening night at the Skylite Drive-In on 11th Avenue. This year will be no exception, as May 19 the family business kicks off the season with “Fate of the Fast and Furious” at dusk. 

“We are looking forward to seeing all of our friends again,” said Donna Pelletier, who owns and operates the business with her husband Gary. The couple purchased the business from his father in 1983.

Even with streaming online video and home theater systems, families and friends still come to the drive-in during the summer. Modern technology is making its presence felt even in rural northern Maine, though, and the Pelletiers switched to a digital projection system last year.  

The drive-in is open seven days a week, with shows starting at dusk. The location has a full concession stand and plenty of room for children to play before the show starts.

Pelletier said she is looking forward to another summer at the drive-in.

“It’s been a long winter,” she said with a laugh.

The Pelletiers also owned and operated the Fox Theater in Madawaska, which had shown films during the fall and winter seasons. The couple closed that in April 2015.

The Pelletiers normally close the drive-in by mid-September, although nice weather and customer demands have often led to a few more late summer nights watching movies under the stars.

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