COLUMN: Spread the word about the Civic’s alternative programming

There are a whole lot of alternative and community-organized events coming to the Civic Theatre this fall.

Royal Ballet's Romeo & Juliet

Royal Ballet's Romeo & Juliet

There are a whole lot of alternative and community-organized events coming to the Civic Theatre this fall.

The ironic situation of our little community cinema is that while we have programmed an amazingly diverse array of engaging films and events, these are the things with which we have the most difficulty reaching audiences.

So much of our Hollywood content is locked down last minute, but at least you’ve heard about these films for weeks or months in advance. But for arthouse and independent films, we have to do more advertising than usual to get word out about the gems appearing on our single screen.

Hollywood does a darn good job of letting you know about upcoming blockbusters you will want to see, but getting word out about the next presentation from London’s Royal Opera House (the passionate and applauded Romeo and Juliet ballet tonight) or what the next independent Thursday program is (Canadian film Hyena Road, and the 40th anniversary of The Rocky Horror Picture Show — both tomorrow) can be difficult to communicate to the various demographics of the greater Nelson area.

For example, were you already aware that the second annual Zombie Walk is leaving from the Civic at 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 31? Or that the Civic’s screen will transform into a gallery on Nov. 2 to showcase the stories and masterpieces of The Impressionists (Exhibition on Screen)? And did you know that we are bringing the TIFF-premiered documentary on one of Canada’s greatest bands Arcade Fire: The Reflektor Tapes to Nelson on Nov. 4?

There are lots of ways that you can be privy to what’s coming up next — you can certainly drive by our marquee on Vernon St., visit our website for a calendar of confirmed events (and even pre-purchase your tickets there), or give our new listings-dedicated line a call at 250-505-1007 (please channel Sean Connery for that last few digits).

You can also follow us on the Nelson Civic Theatre Facebook page or on Twitter. Please watch for our weekly flyers around town and posters for special programming, and weekly there is an up-to-date listing in the Nelson Star.

Or, you can let us do the work for you, and sign up for our weekly email — totally free, available to everyone, and a great way to enter to win tickets to upcoming films at the Civic (check out civictheatre.ca/join-our-newsletter). And even with all these vehicles at work, we know that one of the most important ways that we get word out about special programming is through word of mouth, so please share with people you know who might be interested in what’s coming up.

Seeing movies together is a great way to plan outings with families and friends, and when you see films at the Civic Theatre, you are helping the Nelson Civic Theatre Society to ensure our future as a centre for diverse entertainment and community events. We deeply appreciate the support we continue to receive from our community every day at the theatre, and encourage you to continue to see it at the Civic!

Jason Asbell is the theatre manager, programmer and herald for the Civic Theatre.