COLUMN: Grand plans, great movies and Oprah

Brian May’s theatre column

Happy 2018 to you all – movie buffs, community engagers, and back page readers – all of you. So who watched the Golden Globes last week? Nobody but Oprah could win “The award for winning an award.” As she pointed out, there are a lot of strong women in that film community and a lot of strong messages that need to be heard and the awards themselves provided a lot of strong performances. But let’s talk Hollywood a bit later.

If you look above you’ll see a new name on this column’s banner. It doesn’t mean much. It’s an inclusive column, a dynamic spinning of words, a communal discussion on film, filmmakers, film-watchers, talkers and listeners, with just a touch of popcorn.

Over the last few years writers have included Jason A. – film aficionado, Eleanor S. – dream weaver, and Anne D. – premiere president. A column as dynamic as the theatre and the community it serves. That will continue. I’ll just fill in a bit and try not to step on toes.

Why? Because I’m a film-watcher, a talker, and a listener and I know what this theatre already offers and what it can offer.

I also just joined its Board of Directors and I’m supposed to make a contribution somehow.

Two weeks ago Jason wrote a column explaining the grand strategy of choosing movies and how distributors can hold small theatres to ransom if they don’t want to lose patrons to other distractions.

In a community that can entertain you every day of the week if you have the time, energy and funds, that engagement is crucial. So the Civic Theatre has to be in tune and one step ahead. Well now it’s time to jump two steps ahead.

And that’s another reason I thought it worthwhile to hang my hat here for a while. I honestly get a charge out of projects that can bring something new to this community, something physical, something that changes the landscape for as wide a group as possible.

For five years the community has heard the mantra about the need for three theatres to satisfy financial and social goals. After a while the message fades. It becomes background buzz. If you asked someone on the street what’s up with the Civic Theatre I’m betting most might say “ Well I heard they want to change something. Does anyone know what’s on after Star Wars? ”

So it’s time to refocus. Time to hear the message. The ducks are getting all lined up now and this year could see it all come to fruition. That means individual, business, and community group support, as well as general community understanding and buy-in.

“Oh oh,” you say. He’s going to hit us up for something. Well…sort of. What we need is your spokesperson skills and attention as we engage with the large organizations and government supporters who understand the value and need for a venue which is “More than just a theatre.”

Showing big Holly-wood films while using a second theatre to show small release indie films this town loves, holding local filmmaker and college workshops in a third, offering a site for documentaries or dialogues that support this town’s dynamic interests, and making it all financially viable for years to come offers all of us a chance to build a cultural cornerstone in Nelson. I like cornerstones. That’s why I became interested and why I hope you do too.

Over the next while we’ll share the refreshed plans and everything we hope and need from you.

For now just buy a membership. Seriously. Go buy a membership. It’s all new, supercharged and will improve your lives. And it will make it so much better when you attend the surfeit of good pre-Oscar movies in these darker months. And it shows our big supporters that our small supporters have our back in a big year for the Civic. And it would please Oprah.

So read some movie reviews, check out the website for schedules and share your popcorn.

Brian May is a Nelson Civic Theatre Society Board member


Columnist Brian May says Oprah Winfrey would be pleased if she knew Nelson residents were involved with the Civic Theatre. File photo

Brian May

Brian May

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