The Nelson Hustle red carpet glitter gala on Saturday

COLUMN: Indelible memory-making on the red carpet

Nelson folks love their movies, and they love to dress up, too — as evidenced by the Klingons or all those fishnet stockings.

The first time we threw a gala event at the Civic Theatre was memorable. The big screen was back at last with James Bond’s Skyfall, our old projector had been painstakingly adjusted to within an inch of its 35mm life, and the mono speaker tweaked until you could hear every syl-a-ble.

There had been folks who said we couldn’t do it, this motley band of movie-lovers, and we so wanted to show that we could.

The question remained: if we built it, would they come? If nothing else, I figured my case of nerves would be something I’d remember for a long time.

My nerves, as it happened, were quickly forgotten. The red carpet rolled out and those tuxes and slinky dresses rolled in.

Nelson folks love their movies, and they love to dress up, too — as evidenced by the Klingons who turned out to Star Trek, or all those fishnet stockings at Rocky Horror Picture Show.

If memory serves, I’d say that every Civic Theatre event has been unforgettable in its own unique way.

The Nelson Hustle red carpet glitter gala on Saturday, March 1 at 7 p.m. is sure to be another memorable event in the finest Civic Theatre tradition.

Folks are digging out those campy ‘70s styles to walk the carpet (prizes!), raise a glass of something sparkly, enjoy those delectable appies, and catch the Oscar-nominated film American Hustle.

The Saturday night event is the highlight of a week-long celebration of Oscar-nominated films and fun, with full details at

On Sunday, everyone can come back to watch the Oscars themselves via satellite feed. One lucky (and correct) Oscar-guesser could win a one-year movie pass!

For sure the gala is bound to make more memorable Civic Theatre moments. But there is an ulterior motive.

Every Civic Theatre event is a fundraising event, and this one’s no different.

Popcorn is a part of every movie-goer’s cinema memories. For movie theatres everywhere, healthy concession sales are as important as a healthy box office. The Civic Theatre’s concession received a good dust-off in time for Skyfall, but it was a temporary measure. Now, the Civic Theatre concession’s time has come.

Supporting Oscar week by coming to films and the gala is a great way to help upgrade the concession. And donations, as always, are tax-receiptable and oh-so-welcome — and essential!

Community support is necessary to leverage matching grants and build the theatre we deserve — and roll out that red carpet for good.

Memories are built through working together, playing together, and celebrating together. Beginning with that first gala and everything that preceded it — all that mopping and dusting and painting and seat-installing and speaker-tweaking and more — and with all the good work since, we are becoming experts at memory-making.

We are not such a motley band these days, either, and in fact we never really were. Our board and committee members come with skills in architecture and building, accounting and finance, project management and marketing, fundraising, and of course, fun-making. It’s a great gang with good ideas and infectious energy.

The Civic Theatre restoration and renovation to three screens is a big project, but together we will build it, and when we do, the party we’ll have will be — you guessed it — memorable indeed.

Roll out that red carpet, Nelson, and be sure to wear your shades when those flashbulbs start flashing.


Anne DeGrace is the past president of the Nelson Civic Theatre Society, which is working to develop a multi-venue community space for movies, live performance, and more. Want to join the NCTS community? To find out more or make a donation go to

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