(Montreal) Quebec’s drive-ins are having a bumpy season this summer. After a successful opening in the spring, business turnover suffered from the rainy month of July.

At the Ciné-parc Orford, in Sherbrooke, about half as many tickets were sold this year as at the same date last summer.

“If we compare to past years, we are really late,” says François Pradella, co-owner of Ciné-parc Orford. If we do a comparison from the start of the season until now, last year and this year, we are about 50%. »

The drive-in, which opened in early May, had a strong start to the season, running through mid-June.

“After that, from mid-June until the last weekend we just had, we had rain, almost every weekend,” Mr. Pradella said, saying he is “a really bad mid-season for drive-ins”.

“Of course it affected us, but we had such a good start to the season that we weren’t worried, and we still managed to have a not worse month of July,” said for his part. Kevin Patenaude, co-owner of Ciné-parc Saint-Hilaire. However, his establishment opened its doors earlier than the Ciné-parc Orford, in mid-April.

“It was a record our start to the season with the movie Super Mario,” said Mr. Patenaude. Even though his drive-in theater is behind last year’s figures, “it’s still one of our very good years,” says the co-owner.

“Then there with the arrival of Barbie, it’s madness,” says Mr. Patenaude. François Pradella also remarks that the film “works very well”.

“The minute it’s sunny, we have a lot of people. It’s really the weather that’s been playing tricks on us this year,” says Pradella.

The releases of blockbusters have been linked since the spring. Besides Barbie, Elementary and the latest installment of Mission Impossible draw audiences to the drive-in. Half of the Ciné-parc Saint-Hilaire clientele is made up of families.

Drive-in theater owners are therefore no longer hoping that mother nature will get behind them until the end of the summer.

In Quebec, five drive-in theaters featuring new releases are still open.

Although it is still early to paint the full weather picture for August, the humidity is expected to give way to drier and cooler weather early next month, driving out the humidity July, explains Jean-Philippe Bégin, meteorologist with Environment Canada.

“During the first third of the month, expect to have systems that pass fairly frequently, every three or four days, leaving one or two days of precipitation and cooler temperatures,” says Bégin. . Temperatures could then be below normal for the season.

During the second third of August, warming temperatures should be seen, and “hold through the end of August”. However, the more the forecasts relate to a distant period in time, the less reliable they are, recalls the meteorologist.

The month of July was particularly rainy, recalls Mr. Bégin. “For sure the month of July, especially for southern Quebec, the areas near the St. Lawrence River and south of the river, it’s exceptional to receive that much precipitation,” he said.

“It could, in some places, be the wettest July on record,” he added.

The months of July and August are the months when violent thunderstorms are recorded historically. This phenomenon should therefore be seen in the next month, underlines Mr. Bégin.