A wide view of the drive-in movie theatre in the parking lot.

The power in pizza and a movie

Who says drive-in movie theatres were a thing of the past?

Who says drive-in movie theatres were a thing of the past?

For the past three summers, Holland Bloorview has brought the classic drive-in experience to life, by transforming the hospital’s parking lot into a family-friendly movie theatre.

This year, on August 22, Avengers: Endgame took centre-stage as 100 in-patients, out-patients, families, and community members attended the annual event.

“We had a radio on the terrace of the Complex Continuing Care unit, so that patients who couldn’t leave the unit could watch it from the terrace,” says Robyn Sanford, this year’s event organizer, and the hospital’s Team Leader for Participation and Inclusion.

Daniel Scott, who previously organized the event, knows all too well the positive impact events like this have on patients and families. As an administrator for the hospital’s outpatient playroom, he focuses on building a warm and welcoming environment for all kids and families. And it’s a goal he sees reflected in the drive-in.

“I think we take for granted what pizza and a movie can mean to kids. Anybody over the age of infancy is going to be missing their home life, so how can we make Holland Bloorview feel like home for families and kids who are staying here for a while?” says Scott. 

“It truly is about creating safe accessible spaces for families to come together, where they don’t have to worry about people being upset if their kids can’t sit still or be quiet for two hours. For a lot of our families this building is so much more than just a hospital.”

This year, the drive-in was sponsored by Anthony Andrews and Party Cinemas, who graciously donated $500 and the equipment needed, bending over backwards to ensure the kids and families had a great time.

“Party Cinemas was very keen to help,” says Sanford. “Anthony is the owner and he came himself. He was really motivated to make it a great experience.”  

Attendees also got a chance to play Jumbo Jenga and a giant match game, as well as sit by a bonfire, thanks to the Therapeutic Recreation department. Freezies were donated through the hospital’s Foundation, while Neinstein Personal Injury & Medical Malpractice Lawyers also provided the pizza, pop, and snacks to enjoy during the film.

“The [drive-in] movie was so popular that we had to rescreen it in this past month’s Family Movie Night,” says Scott. “It ran so long that kids fell asleep and they wanted to see how it ended.”

On top of the annual drive-in movie, Holland Bloorview also hosts a pizza and movie night, thanks to funding and support from Neinstein LLP.

Thank you again to all the sponsors, donors, vendors, volunteers, and staff who made this year’s drive-in movie possible!