COLUMN: Once upon a time there was a town in the mountains …

Civic Theatre manager Eleanor Stacey on why being a member of the theatre society is good for you.

Once upon a time there was a town in the mountains that wanted their movie theatre reopened. So a whole bunch of people got together and made it happen. They had meetings, gathered support, cleaned toilets, and after many, many hours, the doors of the theatre were again reopened, beginning what they all hoped would be many, many years of cinema.

It’s tempting to say “The End” after that, but if you know what theatre I’m talking about, you probably know that the better close to this Cole’s Notes version of the Nelson Civic Theatre Society’s early days would be “The Beginning.”

It was indeed the beginning, and it might be hard to believe, but the society has only be in operation at the Civic Theatre for three years. It is because of the enormous support of our many, many friends who have volunteered every step of the way, from ushering to maintenance, to board and committee service, that we have achieved so much in such a short time. And of course, attending movies. Coming to films is still the best way to support our long-term success, keeping cinema alive and well in Nelson.

Membership with the society makes coming to movies even easier. New this year, we are offering a family membership in addition to our individual ones, and all members receive a dollar off at the box office. But we’re working to sweeten the pot even more: members are eligible for deep discounts and free reservations not available to anyone else. And of course, we’re continuing to offer our ongoing benefits of free admission to Member Monday films throughout the year, as well as a say in society decision-making.

But you may still wonder how having members helps us. Certainly it adds to our bottom line, but even more importantly, it keeps our operations centered in the community. We want to always stay connected with how the society came to exist, and the interests of our patrons. Membership keeps our theatre directly connected with our service-based purpose.

We are looking forward to MarketFest on Friday, where we will again be setting up our old projector and walk-in camera obscura. We will have lots of information about our memberships, as well as new subscriptions and passes offering discounts and reservations to members, and we’ll be there to answer questions and talk about film.

If you can’t make it to MarketFest, come see us at the theatre, or get your membership online at civictheatre.ca. (And if you start or renew your society membership before the end of July, you’ll be entered to win one of two movie 10-passes!)

The End, er, Beginning.

Eleanor Stacey is the executive director of the Nelson Civic Theatre Society.

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