Pop-up drive-in theatre shows Only In Nelson

City councillor Cal Renwick on the big screen at the drive-in theatre showing of Amy Bohigian’s film Only in Nelson, presented by the Civic Theatre and Kootenay Co-op Radio on Saturday. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
The opinions of Nelson resident Howie Ross were featured in Amy Bohigian’s film Only In Nelson, shown here in its drive-in theatre edition on Saturday. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Former city councillor Anna Purcell was one of the commentators in Only In Nelson. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

Nelson saw itself projected on the side of one of its own downtown buildings Saturday evening.

The Nelson Civic Theatre and Kootenay Co-op Radio teamed up to project local filmmaker Amy Bohigian’s Only in Nelson on a wall in the parking lot between Lake and Vernon streets next to the Salvation Army.

The audience included many families. They parked their cars and turned on Kootenay Co-op Radio to get the film’s audio.

Organizer Jason Asbell of the Civic Theatre said his mind at the screenings was mostly taken up with the technicalities of sound and projection, which were experimental and on-the-fly.

But he did find time to appreciate the pioneering nature of the event.

“I felt like we were pulling off a little piece of magic,” he told the Star. “This is one of the things that I have liked so much about this job, the community outreach aspect of it — like making a film appear on a downtown building with the audio track coming through your community radio station.”

Both screenings, one at 9 and the other at 11, sold out their limit of 40 cars.

In the first showing the audio preceded the visual by a second or two. But this was fixed for the second showing and for the benefit of future drive-ins planned for this summer at the same spot.

“We are hoping to offer family friendly films on weekends,” Asbell said. “We’ll do maybe three or four nights in a row of classics like Goonies or Back to the Future, that kind of thing.”

The use of the property was donated by Venture Retirement Communities, which intends to build seniors housing on the site.

“It was quite a feat to have our indie radio station and movie theatre join up to bring our community together in this special way,” Bohigian said after the screening. “The night was a literal reflection of community and a true ‘Only in Nelson’ moment.”

Only In Nelson had its first screenings at the Civic Theatre in October.

The film will appear on the Knowledge Network website and TV on May 26 at 9 p.m. and for rent on Vimeo on Demand for people outside of Canada.


• Knowledge Network brings world premiere of Only in Nelson to hometown

Seniors’ housing planned for Nelson’s Vernon St


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