Theatre must become priority

It’s a script worthy of Hollywood. Call it the Nightmare on Vernon Street or perhaps Indecent Business Proposal.

It’s a script worthy of Hollywood. There’s drama, suspense, a wee bit of comedy and of course horror. Call it the Nightmare on Vernon Street or perhaps Indecent Business Proposal.

Well, it might not get off the ground with any studios down in tinsel town, but the Civic Theatre mess certainly has layers as darkly entertaining as Pulp Fiction.

Since September the projector at the old theatre has sat quiet while a partnership of Lower Mainland investors plodded along on their grand plans to change the facility into the Nelson Cinemax. As today’s front page story reveals, that partnership is in shambles and the project has been abandoned.

So where does that leave anxious movie lovers? Well, if they want to take in the upcoming slate of summer blockbusters, it means traveling down Highway 3A to Castlegar. That hurts, and the lack of urgency for this project by city leaders is disappointing.

“Obviously one of the key criteria is making sure the proponents have the financial capacity to deliver on what they say. We’ll certainly do a little more scrutiny in that regard,” city manager Kevin Cormack told the Star this week.

Why is that only obvious now?

In these trying economic times we need locals spending as much cash in Nelson as possible. Instead of hitting a local restaurant and going to the show, those on a summer date will now take their cash to Castlegar. I’m sure Boston Pizza and the Greek Oven would like nothing more than to see the Civic Theatre never reopen.

Instead of an afterthought, getting the Civic back playing movies must become a priority for council. Instead of backyard chickens, they should be discussing what they can do to help make Nelson’s economy more vibrant.

It’s troubling that this drama has gone on so long. A normally vibrant section of Vernon Street that bursts with energy during the summer with moviegoers of all ages enjoying a night out will sit silent. Council must do more to ensure this important facility does not become a sequel to the 1983 flop The Dead Zone.

Nelson Star