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Canton Palace Theatre and Akron-Canton Airport host Flights & Flicks Drive-In Movie

Patricia Faulhaber
Suburbanite correspondent

GREEN  The Akron-Canton Airport (CAK) partnered with the Canton Palace Theater on Oct. 17 to host the first Flights & Flick Drive-In Movie. More than 100 families came to enjoy the fall evening at the airport’s off-site parking lot.  

A 70-foot inflatable movie screen was set up in the offsite parking lot of the Akron-Canton Airport on Oct. 17 where over a hundred families parked to watch a movie drive-in theatre style.

The parking area on the corner of Lauby and Mt. Pleasant roads was the ideal setting to put up an inflatable 70-foot pop up drive-in movie screen. The event made for the perfect partnership with CAK’s contribution of available space and The Palace's expertise. The movie presented to local families was "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone."

“Akron-Canton Airport proactively explores different opportunities to welcome the public to the airport,” said Ren Camacho, CAK President and CEO. “While we have had to delay some of our community events like our CAK 5K on the Runway and Trick or Treat in the Terminal due to COVID-19, we are delighted to offer a safe, distanced event for the whole family to enjoy.”

The gates opened at 5 p.m. and the movie started around 7 p.m. after the sun set. In between those times, families could visit three food trucks parked on the one side of the parking lot. Music was also played to get people excited about the event. The lovely sunset was provided at no extra charge that evening.

There were food trucks parked in the offsite parking lot for the Akron-Canton Airport during the Flights & Flicks popup drive-in movie theatre event on Oct. 17.

The event featured no-contact ticketing, guests reserved parking space online in advance, then checked-in at the gates of the parking lot. No physical ticket was needed. Admission was $20 per car. Additionally, movie goers could order traditional theater concessions ahead of time and then pick them up when checking in.

The event was in compliance with local and state public health agencies' mandates, social distancing and other safety precautions. Cars were parked in a "checkerboard" pattern to maintain social distancing, and optimal viewing. Moviegoers were required to stay in their vehicles during the movie and face coverings were required when unable to maintain six-foot social distancing.

The Canton Palace Theatre held drive-in movies in downtown Canton for eight weeks over the summer and with the United Way in September.  All reported to have great attendance.

There were food trucks parked in the offsite parking lot for the Akron-Canton Airport during the Flights & Flicks popup drive-in movie theatre event on Oct. 17.

“Offering the drive-in movies was a way to offer programming for the community while maintaining all of the COVID guidelines,” said Georgia Paxos, executive director at The Canton Palace Theater. “We are excited to enter into this partnership with the Akron-Canton Airport for this movie event. CAK is a tremendous asset to our community and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate fall and films, than with Flights & Flicks Drive-In Movie.  We hope this is the start of more fun and exciting things to come at the airport.” 

Canton Palace Theatre was allowed to reopen for movies on June 10 and showed its first movie on June 24. It was allowed to reopen for live performances in mid-August.  Paxon said it has held private live  performances up to this point. The first public performance is scheduled for Nov. 21.

The airlines and travel industries have been hit especially hard through the pandemic. Robert P. Hartigan, business development manager at CAK, said he and Camacho supports the community partnerships.

“We were doing some brainstorming and I came across an article on how other airports were doing drive-in movie events,” Hartigan said. “I reached out to the Canton Palace Theatre and it’s exciting to see it taking place tonight. It’s amazing the ideas that we have been implementing now because two years ago people would have said I’m crazy but now everybody is open to different ideas on how to best serve the community.”

About Akron-Canton Airport

The Akron-Canton Airport (CAK) connects travelers to the world through nonstop and easy, one-stop flights. As Northeast Ohio’s preferred airport, CAK ensures the health and well-being of passengers while providing an easy, convenient airport experience. Keep up to date on all things CAK at akroncantonairport.com, Facebook or Twitter and learn more about CAK’s response to COVID-19. Akron-Canton Airport, a better way to go.®

About Canton Palace Theatre 

Completed in 1926, the Canton Palace Theatre, 605 Market Ave. N., is a downtown architectural jewel registered on the National Historic Registry. A prized community venue for classic, contemporary, and art films, The Palace annually hosts more than 300 special events, concerts, recitals, and Broadway-style productions. For more information, visit www.cantonpalacetheatre.org. 

There were food trucks parked in the offsite parking lot for the Akron-Canton Airport during the Flights & Flicks popup drive-in movie theatre event on Oct. 17