The Civic Theatre continues to suffer financially as its board looks ahead to a three-screen upgrade.
The theatre posted a $13,927 deficit in its last fiscal year according to financial statements made public at its annual general meeting Monday.
Executive director Eleanor Stacey said the loss is tied to the theatre being restricted to one screen.
“The issue is as a single screen we remain not solvent,” said Stacey. “We have a business model that isn’t set up to thrive given the requirements of our distributors. So if we have a single film that doesn’t do well, it could knock us into a negative number by the end of the year.”
She cited the 2016 film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story as an example of a film that failed to stay profitable over the four weeks Disney required the theatre show it.
“The [business] model is volatile. Ultimately, that’s really the bottom line.”
The loss is far less than in 2016 when the theatre fell $47,033 in the hole. Stacey said that year the theatre had its first audit following its change to a charity.
“We learned a lot through it, and part of our deficit being much, much better this year has to do with us implementing practices by our auditor to run our organization better.”
The financial losses come as the theatre plans for a major capital upgrade.
In March, Stacey presented a plan to city council outlining a $2.8-million renovation to the Civic Theatre that would add two additional screens by the end of 2020.
Stacey said grant writing is underway for the 67 per cent of funding needed from regional, provincial and national programs. Once those funds are secured, Stacey said the board will seek out corporate donations and finally community support.
“It’s a multifaceted time right now. We have to do a lot of things at the same time,” she said. “But we’re in a position that’s stronger than ever. In fact all the work we’ve done in the last four years has really put us in a position where we can feel really confident with our case for support because the idea is good, and the membership is there to say it is valued by the community.”