COLUMN: How to feng shui your cinema

The Hail, Civic! Gala on March 5 could have been featured on any one of those home transformation reality TV shows.

The recent Hail Civic! gala 'embraced by a fog-filled dream world

When the doors to the auditorium finally fling open, the entrance lobby-corralled ’50s-era Technicolor characters and stars at the Civic Theatre’s Hail, Civic! Gala are embraced by a fog-filled dream world a la George Melies, where mermaids swing from seaweed perches against projected Technicolor backdrops of underwater ballets performed in the mouth of giant oysters with cloistered pearls larger than a synchronized swimmer’s smiling head. The electro-swing rhythmic vibrations, at once both modern and reminiscent of the decadence of a bygone era, ebb in time with the tide of an aqueous Hippodrome.

Feng shui, or living room make-over, however you want to phrase it, The Hail, Civic! Gala on March 5 could have been featured on any one of those home transformation reality TV shows.  And we are pretty proud of this: with every event, from live music to gala party, our venue continues to display its ability to take on many shapes and moods.

Those in attendance at the event will surely recall the magical set brought to life through the gravity-defying feats from the performers of Discover Circus, tuneage from DJ Lady V, purrrfect movements of The Show Cats and the amazing room design created by Christy and Neil Pretty.

Just take a look at the photographic evidence captured by Louis Bockner of Eye of the Mind Photography for confirmation. All of this, along with the tasty bites provided by West Coast Grill and libations from our own in-house thematic Blue Hawaii tiki bar, definitely made for a wonderful night beyond the movies.

Like at Hail, Civic!, I also felt this transformation away from a simple movie theatre into something on the verge of magic, when my daughter and I saw Bahamas perform live in our space a few months back. The Civic Theatre is an intimate living room and grand hall all at once, and, with the soon-to-be-introduced fibre optic Internet, a future hub for innovative idea sharing for the region. It is fitting that these visions for a transformed space take shape in a Deco theatre built at the pinnacle of the dream factory era of Golden Age Hollywood.

Much has changed since the 1930s — technology has never allowed us so much access while simultaneously isolating us. Just today I was made aware of a space in Amsterdam called The VR Cinema where each person is in their own swivelling chair experiencing a virtual reality movie through a headset covering their eyes and ears. The image of a group where everyone is together but essentially on their own is a little haunting, especially when you see a small clip of a couple, the chairs swivelling in their different orbits, straining to hold hands as if the other was a lifeline to the physical world outside.

All sorts of questions, possibilities and concerns arise with technology use, and as an organization we want to be able to provide and facilitate a space to address them. This is a perfect future for us, as a facility with a vast history of shared community memories and special nights out. From our roots in the pre-television era to our current role as a home for film and gatherings, this transition to a space where we can be central in navigating the intersection of technology, film art and community is an exciting future.

What comes after golden? Platinum?

Jason Asbell is theatre manager, programmer and dreamer for The Civic Theatre.

Just Posted

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

Pacific Insight to lay off part of workforce

The company says it is transferring automotive production to its Mexico facility

Black belt tests on this week at Kootenay Martial Arts

Grandmaster Brenda Sell returns to assist in testing

UPDATED: Four Nelson marijuana dispensaries to remain open after legalization

Nelson’s police chief has no plans to close them down

Nelson candidates debate climate change at forum

Mayoral and council candidates had the chance to speak on five fictional resolutions

VIDEO: Candidates at Nelson election forum

Mayoral candidates joined 18 council candidates for an evening of very short answers

Jagmeet Singh says marijuana pardons are not enough

Trudeau government will streamline pardon process for Canadians convicted of simple possession of marijuana in the past

BC Ferries begins taking debit in two-month pilot project

Company is giving customers option to use Interac on two-month trial on select vessels

Caregivers banned from smoking, growing cannabis around children-in-care: MCFD

Ministry has limited cannabis use for caregivers, stating it may “pose a risk to children and youth.”

Cheaper strains sell out within minutes on online BC Cannabis Store

Province says new strains will become available in the coming months

Only 40% of B.C. car dealerships have electric cars available: report

Researchers found buyers frustrated at the lack of options

VIDEO: Millionaire Lottery returns to give back and win big

Since 1996, Millionaire Lottery has raised $52 million for the VGH+UBC Hospital Foundation

Baby boomer buba shares heartfelt novel with Okanagan audience

Pauline Daniel will be at Vernon’s Bookland and library Oct. 20

Most Read