Where will you be when the lights come up?
Romances begin at the movies. I clearly remember cutting off the circulation in my 16-year-old date’s hand during an intense moment in Jaws. That led to a comforting arm around the shoulders, and the rest was — well, history, in that fleeting way of teenage romance. I do know we sat at the back.
Robin Cherbo and Colleen Driscoll had their first date at a movie at the Civic Theatre, with less fleeting results. Colleen remembers it was a James Bond movie, but not which one (clearly, she wasn’t really paying attention). Since it was in 1989, it had to be License to Kill, the 16th in the series about the fictional M16 agent. Robin confirms this (so he may have been paying better attention).
Robin and Colleen’s romance began with a mix-up over a draw for a microwave oven. Although Robin actually won, he magnanimously allowed the mix-up to stand, which led to that historic first date — at the movies.
Robin remembers a big bag of popcorn, and an usher with a flashlight who showed them to their seat near the front — so his intentions were gentlemanly (or the theatre was just full). Colleen and Robin have been married for 20 years — so clearly, the date “took.”
Several years ago history came around when Colleen played a Bond Girl on the Capitol Theatre stage in the hilarious Kootenay Lake Hospital fundraiser and spoof Die Another Day. Interestingly, that sold-out run happened on the same weekend in February that the Civic Theatre will play its first film in three years.
Yes, Bond is back! Skyfall plays February 22 and 23.
We’ll have a gala opening on Friday, a matinee, and there’s a surprise in the works for Saturday night. Dress-ups are encouraged: strut your (slightly dangerous) stuff as a Bond Girl or dust off the tux. Stay tuned for details, coming soon.
As for the theatre, all 250 very comfortable seats are now smartly positioned — and you can sponsor one for $250 at any time during the weekend. Thanks to all those who sponsored seats at our open house — and to David and the gang for getting them all in.
The old film projector has been taken for a few test runs and yes, the big screen is back. We can’t stay here for long: there are no more film prints being made, so going digital is a must, as is improved sound. With your help, we’ll get there.
In the meantime, it’s all about celebrating how far we’ve come and getting excited about the future as we bask in the glow of the silver screen once again. Front row, back row, or in between — you just never know where a movie might take you.
Anne DeGrace’s Civic Theatre column is featured every second Wednesday in the Star