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Shediac Neptune Drive-in to reopen under new owners, new billing as Texas-style eatery

The Shediac Neptune Drive-in Theatre is reopening with owners who plan to add food to the front of the line. (Neptune Drive-in Theater/Facebook - image credit)
The Shediac Neptune Drive-in Theatre is reopening with owners who plan to add food to the front of the line. (Neptune Drive-in Theater/Facebook - image credit)

A 1960s-era drive-in movie theatre is getting a new lease on life — along with a Texas-style smokehouse — under new ownership.

The Shediac Neptune Drive-in Theatre's new co-owners, Sébastien Després and his wife Heather Wright, plan to make this local landmark into not just a place for people to watch movies but to enjoy a great meal.

"We're thrilled at the opportunity to breathe new life into the Neptune," Wright said in a press release.

"We know what the drive-in means to the community, and our teams and our family are wholeheartedly committed to honouring its legacy and ensuring it continues to be a great gathering spot for people of all ages."

The soon-to-be-updated drive-in is part of a collection of businesses owned by the couple, including Bistro Le Moque-Tortue, Le Griffon B&B and Adorable Chocolat.

"When the opportunity came up, I just couldn't pass it up. It's exactly in our wheelhouse. Let's say Le Moque-Tortue is all about having fun around the table, playing board games, eating great food. Adorable Chocolat is all about having fun eating, we create great chocolates," Després said.

"We're Alice in Wonderland inspired, so a drive-in movie theatre was just the perfect opportunity to expand what we were already doing."

New co-owners Sébastien Després (right) and Heather Wright (left) stand with their kids from in front of the screen of the Shediac Neptune Drive-in theatre.
New co-owners Sébastien Després (right) and Heather Wright (left) stand with their kids from in front of the screen of the Shediac Neptune Drive-in theatre.

New co-owners Sébastien Després and Heather Wright stand with their kids in front of the screen at the Shediac Neptune Drive-in Theatre. (Submitted by Sébastien Després )

The biggest change to the drive-in experience is the addition of a Texas-style smoke house with a "low and slow approach. So with brisket and pulled pork and ribs and burgers, that kind of thing," Després said.

The name for this new eatery is Morse et Marteaux BBQ Smokehouse, the name inspiration coming from book characters by Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice in Wonderland.

"We're in the process of upgrading the infrastructure right now. It's taking shape already. We're super excited," Després said.

The Neptune Drive-in has been closed since the summer of 2022 and will undergo some updates before reopening, with room for 350 cars and featuring a digital ultra 4K projector.

Work continues at the Neptune Drive-in Theater to make it ready for opening day.
Work continues at the Neptune Drive-in Theater to make it ready for opening day.

Work continues at the Neptune Drive-in Theatre to make it ready for opening day. (Summitted by Sébastien Després)

The couple is planning a soft opening for May 10 and the grand opening for the summer season on May 17 — just in time for the Victoria Day weekend.

"There's a lot of excitement about it. I underestimated how important the place was. I changed the logo about a month and a half ago on the Facebook page and over 100,000 people saw it. And there were about 3,000 people who actively engaged with the page during the next weeks," Després said.

"There's a group on Facebook called Save the Neptune Drive-in with thousands and thousands of members. So it's a really big responsibility to take on because we know what it means to the people of Shediac or the people of the area."