Rich Howells

Circle Drive-In Flea Fair in Dickson City reopens farmers market and other vendors on May 24

Circle Drive-In Flea Fair in Dickson City reopens farmers market and other vendors on May 24
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The Circle Drive-In Theatre in Dickson City opened to show movies on May 1, and now it is ready to start reopening its popular Flea Fair.

As the largest flea market and farmers market in Northeastern Pennsylvania, it usually hosts hundreds of vendors every Sunday from March through November, but the coronavirus has put the popular event on hold until now. The farmers market and garden sellers will be open as well as the other vendors, just spread further apart while wearing masks and gloves.

“We are excited to announce we’re reopening our open-air market for fresh ‘from the farm’ plants and produce, along with many other treasures, this Sunday, May 24th, 7 a.m.-3 p.m.,” the Circle Drive-In posted on Facebook today.

“Because of the current environment, we have extra safety protocols in place to protect our staff, customers, and vendors. Please review them on our website. Looking forward to seeing you soon!”

With 1,374 cases and 127 deaths according to the Pennsylvania National Electronic Disease Surveillance System, Lackawanna County is still considered a “red zone” where only life-sustaining businesses can operate, and Governor Tom Wolf has extended stay-at-home orders through June 4.

The Circle Drive-In says it is “adhering to safety protocols, mandatory face covering requirements, social distancing, and strict disinfecting and cleaning procedures,” and restrooms will be open with attendants on-site.

Its safety protocols are listed below:

If you are attending a drive-in movie, be advised that the following rules are in place until further notice:

  • You must wear a face covering and practice social distancing.
  • The concession stand will have limited selections and has put extra safety procedures in place.

If you are attending the open-air market, be advised that the following rules are in place until further notice:

  • All vendors must wear face coverings and gloves.
  • All customers must wear face coverings.
  • We will be practicing social distancing and following Department of Health recommendations.

Our safety protocols are in place to protect our customers and vendors. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

In terms of movie screenings, the Circle Drive-In (1911 Scranton/Carbondale Hwy., Dickson City) has extended its hours, showing films on two screens every Friday through Tuesday. The animated Disney-Pixar adventure film “Onward” featuring the voices of Tom Holland and Chris Pratt is playing on May 22-26 at 8:45 p.m., the horror film “The Wretched” runs May 22-23 at 9 p.m., and the science fiction movie “The Vast of Night” is there on May 24-25 at 9 p.m. A special event brings the 1971 cult classic “Dracula vs. Frankenstein” to the outdoor theater for one night only on Tuesday, May 26 at 9 p.m.

Tickets are all movies are $5 each for children ages 3-11 and $8 each for adults 12 and up.

The Circle Drive-In has a 1,000 car capacity and typically shows movies on its main 5,000 square foot screen and adjacent smaller screen on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights from April through September, including double features.

The Circle opened as a drive-in theater on Sept. 10, 1949, making it one of the longest-running drive-ins in the United States. Today, it uses digital projection and audio but maintains a classic feel with its old signage and fully stocked refreshment stand.

The Circle Drive-In also holds special events like the seasonal Circle of Screams haunted attraction, the NEPA Horror Film Festival, Cult Movie Club screenings, and themed movie nights in addition to parties, weddings, fundraisers, and occasional live music. Its next event is a B-movie roadshow screening of “Dracula vs. Frankenstein” this Tuesday, May 26.

Following delays, the Garden Drive-In in Hunlock Creek opened for the season on May 15 with its own safety measures in place. The Mahoning Drive-In Theater in Lehighton plans to follow suit on Friday, June 5 and Saturday, June 6 with its annual tradition of showing 35mm prints of “The Wizard of Oz” and “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.”

Photo by Rich Howells/NEPA Scene