COLUMN: Hollywood’s biggest night comes to The Civic Theatre

The theatre is hosting a free screening of the Oscars

Take the lint roller to that dust and cat hair clinging to those tuxedos and evening gowns that have been hanging for far too long in the back of the closet. The Civic Theatre provides reason to get dressed to impress with the free community live-stream of the 92nd Academy Awards.

Already planning to host a living room Oscar party? Why not join ours, and bring it down to the community’s biggest living room, The Civic Theatre? Amidst the dirt-caked slush of the not-so-fresh winter, you will look fabulous walking aloft the punch of colour from our 30-foot red carpet unrolled for your grand entrance.

Expect Civic Academy Awards for best dressed from Baker Street Menswear and Vibe, as well as photo ops in front of our Oscar-inspired media wall, celebratory beverages, Oscar ballot prizes, and opportunities to perform songs from the nominated films in karaoke during commercial breaks. This promises to be the biggest, bestest Oscar Party in town!

Following the celebration of “all things movies in 2019,” The Civic Theatre also pays homage to the close of another decade of cinema history. A dynamic decade of cinematic voices and modes of storytelling that has shifted cinema forever, including Netflix/Amazon-produced films, Disney dominance, huge CGI uptick, but also features shot completely on iPhone (Tangerine), steps towards gender parity, probing arthouse horror (Peele, Aster, Eggers, etc.) and greater prominence of international filmmakers into the wider audience imaginations, (Cuarón, Joon Ho, Lanthimos, Ade, Östlund etc.).

Who knows where cinema will be in the next decade? Wherever it steers, The Civic will be agile, deft and move with the times. But for now, the time calls for a look back, not only at the great films produced in the last decade, but also at where The Civic has been, from grass-roots community resurrected treasure to a home for cinema enthusiasts, makers and dreamers for decades to come.

So in this spirit, our unique take on a Best of Decade series includes only films that have screened on The Civic screen which begins not in 2010, but mid-2013, when The Civic Theatre opened its doors again for regular programming on a new upgraded digital system made possible by the generosity and hard work of our community. On social media, we have been posting a four-film shortlist from each year that the community has eagerly been voting on.

The winning movies from each year are:

2013: Gravity

2014: Only Lovers Left Alive

2015: Birdman

2016: Moonlight

2017: Florida Project

2018: Call Me By Your Name

2019: A draw between The Lighthouse and Parasite

The winning movie from each year will be showcased once again on The Civic big-screen for a pair of screenings between Feb. 14 and 20, our Valentine’s Day love letter to all of you who have been supporting the art of cinema by supporting your local movie theatre. Showtimes will be announced on The Civic Theatre’s website shortly.

And we aren’t the only ones celebrating this cinematic milestone: if your selection for best film didn’t make it on screen, you can always find it on the Best of the Decade wall at Reo’s Video. In fact, if you rent a Best of the Decade video from Reo’s, you will receive a two-for-one voucher to see one of The Civic’s Best of the Decade offerings. And if that wasn’t enough, if you come to a Civic Best of the Decade screening and save your receipt, Reo’s will give you a two-for-one rental from their Best of the Decade wall.

See you in all your finest at The Civic Theatre on Feb. 9. Tuxedos and ball gowns fully encouraged. Touques optional.

Jason Asbell is the Civic Theatre programming director and can often be found sporting cat hair on his garments.

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