Nelson Star

Nelson Civic Theatre Society lands in Globe and Mail

Nelson Civic Theatre Society vice-president Roger Ley (middle sitting on stage) is quoted in a Globe and Mail article that ran over the weekend. - Sam Van Schie photo
Nelson Civic Theatre Society vice-president Roger Ley (middle sitting on stage) is quoted in a Globe and Mail article that ran over the weekend.
— image credit: Sam Van Schie photo

More national ink for Nelson last week, but this time around it’s positive.

The Globe and Mail ran a story headlined “Small towns pitch in to keep theatres alive” which ran on on Friday and in its print edition over the weekend.

The story is primarily about the plight of the Star Cinema in the Vancouver Island community of Sidney. The struggles smaller theatres are having raising money for the conversion to digital projectors is at the centre of the piece.

Nelson’s Civic Theatre Society is currently going through a similar effort as the volunteer group looking to reopen the old movie house raises money for a digital projector.

“A group from Nelson recently toured the Salmar [in Salmon Arm]; they’re embarking on a big crowd-funding effort to restore their Civic Theatre, which closed nearly three years ago,” writes Globe culture reporter Marsha Lederman.

“Last June, residents formed a non-profit society. Their plan: split the space into three new theatres, and upgrade to digital projectors. Total cost: about $2.5-million over three years, with a first stage of $150,000 for the initial digital conversion. That campaign will kick off Feb. 23, when the theatre reopens with a screening of Skyfall.”

Nelson Civic Theatre Society vice-president Roger Ley is also quoted in the story: “A movie theatre is more than just a movie theatre. It’s a meeting place and a place that brings people out of their houses and into the downtown core.”

Ley told the Nelson Star that he was surprised to hear from the Globe reporter last week, but happy to be added to the story.

“It’s nice to know the word is getting out, that’s what we are hoping for,” Ley told the Star on Monday. “This project needs to go beyond the borders of the Kootenays, certainly from a fundraising perspective. The more we can get out to a national audience the better.”

Ley expects it will take until until September to get the money together for the projector. In the meantime, the Civic will fundraise through monthly movie screenings, seat sponsorship ($250 to have your name on a chair) and membership sales ($25 for adults, $15 for students and seniors). The City of Nelson will issue a tax receipt for donations ear marked for the Civic Theatre renovation.

For more details on ways to make a financial donation, as well as volunteer opportunities for people who would rather contribute their time, see

This is the second time in the last two weeks that Nelson has been featured in a national newspaper. In the Jaunary 25 edition of the National Post Nelson’s downtown dog ban was fodder for front page story that cast a negative light on the city.

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