Re: “Theatre not worth risk,” Letters, April 4
I believe our city owes the people of Nelson our Civic Theatre since it was built during the Great Depression, by the people, for the people to enjoy. Besides, how much has this town spent on sports vs. the arts lately?
A non-profit society could run the theatre as countless other small town communities have done (with some help from municipalities and grant monies), and we could possibly even get sponsorships here. The Civic Theatre can be used for music performances, too. There could be dance space in front of the stage as well. I heard Jann Arden in the arena — or wait — did I just hear a whole lot of echo?
Also, a new age is upon us in cinema where digital, high resolution, is making exciting things possible with downloads and satellite feeds and who knows the future of it all? Just look at the growth in 3D movies (is holographic cinema next?) and then where will we be? Still at home with our flat screens or driving over our dangerous roads in winter, to Castlegar, for our nights out, giving them money we could use in our town?
I doubt that we can even find the level of skill to build a theatre such as our prized, old Civic in our fast paced era of zippy development. Nelson and area has grown recently. What if it grows a lot in the next 10 to 20 years and there is a real demand for two theaters and more movie goers feel left out of the loop? Stephen Page, a very famous Canadian musician, who sang at Jack Layton’s funeral, just played our town.
If our local government can’t get anyone interested in running the theatre now (and how hard did they try?), then the least they can do is safely store the new theatre seats and ensure that the art deco construction inside will be preserved including the stage.
If they accept the proposals for squash and climbing facilities (which can be built elsewhere), they should ensure that in the future it can readily be converted back to its former grandeur.
I am not the only one who would sorely miss walking up her great ramp into her huge interior. She’s one of the few old beauts left. In my mind, it is just crazy to even considering destroying her.