The fate of the city-owned building that once housed movies has turned into a bit of a mess. And like most emotionally charged issues that land on council’s table, fingers are rightfully being pointed at the politicians who fill the seats at City Hall.
On today’s front page you can read about one small business owner who feels like the City has favoured one group over another in an undemocratic way. Ed Olthof ripped into our civic leaders late last month over his concerns about the process.
The Downtown Athletic Club is justified in its frustration with the entire process. When they proposed turning the old theatre into a squash club/climbing wall/gymnasium back in March, those behind the effort felt they had found the perfect solution to a puzzle City Hall had been unable to solve for two years.
What the athletic club did was spur movie lovers into action. In a very short period of time, the Nelson Civic Theatre Society was put together with a dream of bringing movies back to the facility. An impressive group of community leaders was assembled, surveys were signed and a proposal was submitted.
At this point it certainly seems like the majority of city council is siding with revival of the movie theatre. That effort has been given most of the benefit of the doubt at this point.
Though the athletic club proponents are right to be upset, council must always be mindful of the greater good. If the majority of those we elected eight months ago feel a movie theatre is the right direction for a city-owned property, then ultimately they will be left holding the bag of popcorn when a final decision is made.
At this point politicians have thrown a lot of faith in those behind the theatre society. Though the debate is likely to continue, the group behind the theatre push should not be criticized for the effort they are putting forward. Their passion and vision may ultimately be looked upon as a stroke of brilliance for our community.