Sheila Martin’s weekend was awash in memories as the L.V. Rogers classes of ’63, ’64, and ’65 converged last weekend to share recollections of those heady high school days.
The Nelson Civic Theatre, says Sheila, “played a huge roll in our lives during the 1950s for sure. Of course, in our teenage years, Friday night at the Civic was where everyone gathered, and popcorn, Licorice Nibs, Oh Henry bars and a Coke were the usual fare. My favorite movies during those years were the ones starring the comedic duo of Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin. I really loved them, and although they were actually quite silly I thought they were hilarious and I would almost roll in the aisle laughing!”
I’ll bet there were a lot on laughs last weekend, too, and all the best to all the grads who came out to roll in the metaphorical aisles — or maybe even the real ones.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Last Friday’s Nelson Star offered a survey of the world beyond the high school walls during those grad years. The superhero Iron Man made his comic book debut in 1963. And what was on the bill at the Civic Theatre the weekend of the LVR reunion? Iron Man 3. I’d like to say we put it on intentionally as a salute to those ’63 grads, but it was pure serendipity.
We’re now three weeks into our regular summer movies. Each weekend we’ll show two late first run movies — blockbusters shown a few weeks after their release to allow us programing flexibility. Movies shown immediately upon release are subject to distribution rules that would mean Iron Man 3 for two solid weeks — a little too much of a good thing. We’re banking on our audience to trust that the hot movies will come to Nelson in — well, in Nelson time.
Next weekend come out for Man of Steel, in which Superman’s origins are revealed, and the post apocalyptic black comedy This is the End, in which the party goes on. For showtimes go to civictheatre.ca. Incidentally, the first Superman film was released in 1951. What did I say about the more things change?
We’ve brought back cheap Tuesdays, and we’ve brought back the Thursday Night Movies as well: those indie flicks Nelson film lovers crave. Next Thursday, catch Unclaimed, the story of a man who claims he was declared dead after being shot down over Laos in a 1968 classified mission, then left behind in Vietnam for 45 years. Director Michael Jorgensen will be here in person for a post-screening Q&A. And on July 11, the coming-of-age film Mud makes its Nelson debut.
We’re chuffed with film attendance so far, with our numbers surpassing the Civic’s previous track record, prompting our film booker to email the distributors with the news. It’s been hard as a small, society-run theatre to convince the Big Guys — Sony, Warner and others — that we mean business, necessitating large security deposits. Now, as word gets around, we have our sights set on being the hot new upstart.
And we’re poised to be the best of what the Civic was: the place for teens and others on a Friday night. And yes, Sheila, we still have licorice and Coke and O Henry bars. We also have non-GMO popcorn, gluten-free baking, and Blue Sky sodas in order to cater to current Nelson sensibilities.
So here’s to memories — the ones we cherish, and the ones we’re about to make. I like to think we’ll figure in high school reunion memories for years to come.
Anne DeGrace is the president of the Nelson Civic Theatre Society. Large Popcorn, Extra Butter runs every two weeks. If you have a memory to share please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Find out movie schedules, membership, and more at civictheatre.ca