Everyone loves going to the drive-in movie theatre, but a recent Vernon transplant is offering someone the opportunity to bring the drive-in to the people.
Artist Ed Spiteri, who has a passion for all things automobile, converted a ’50s transit bus into a mobile drive-in theatre nearly 10 years ago and now, he’s put it up for sale on Facebook Marketplace.
Spiteri operated the mobile theatre under his business Harvest Moon Productions around Southern Alberta, drawing families to set up on the grass and enjoy some family-friendly fun.
“The people loved it,” he said of his experience operating the bus. “It showed these kids today how we used to have fun in our days.”
The business combined two things he loves; automobiles and movies.
Spiteri purchased the bus from a Mennonite who had operated the bus as a mobile bee farm.
“It looked like a tool shed when I got it,” he said.
Now, the interior boasts a full concession stand that would strike envy in any movie theatre owner from the 1950s.
The bus used to serve the City of Medicine Hat transporting people to and from the hospital, but after Spiteri was finished with it, it brought cheer and created a sense of community and nostalgia.
Ever since he was a young boy, around the age of four, he recalled, Spiteri has been passionate about cars.
“I have a crazy memory that goes back to 1962, standing up in the back seat because we didn’t have to wear seatbelts and I was small enough to stand,” he said with a laugh from his garage off 27th Avenue. “We drove by this gas station and these vintage corvettes were at the gas station. They pulled out and were cruising down with the tail lights on. I looked at them and though, ‘My God, I like that.'”
“Since then, I’ve just been crazy about cars.”
Spiteri began working on cars before he held a driver’s licence.
At the age of 12, he was working on European sports cars on his own.
“It sounds a bit heavy, but they were just FIATs — a ‘Fix it again, Tony,'” he laughed. “It was a lot of fun.”
Now retired, Spiteri is focusing more of his attention on his paintings and furniture — which both involve vehicles — so he’s looking to pass the torch.
“If the right people approach me and want this, I would give them my time and share my knowledge so they can jump right into this and go with it,” he said. “Then, I’d walk away and hope to heck they pull it off.”
“I would love to put on one more show with it and hopefully show the person that’sbuying it how to set up and a see-you-later type thing,” he said.
Spiteri is selling the 1954 city bus mobile drive-in movie theatre for $35,000 on the Vernon BC Buy & Sell on Facebook.