Council doesn’t always get it right. But if Friday night’s scene at the Nelson Civic Theatre is a test, then it appears our elected representatives certainly made the right choice about the future of the city-owned building on Vernon Street.
During the controversy that grabbed headlines last year regarding the fate of the idle theatre space, many argued that the sky would fall if the city allowed a volunteer society take a run at reviving the space. At the Nelson Civic Theatre Society’s kickoff weekend, Skyfall was part of the mix, but certainly not in the way some predicted.
As you can see from the photos in today’s paper, locals came out in full James Bond garb for the gala event. The energy was high as those most passionate about the movies celebrated an important moment in the theatre’s history.
The future of the way we watch movies is in the midst of monumental transition. Technology has changed the way society approaches entertainment. The industry is riskier than ever before, but this weekend the Nelson Civic Theatre Society started to build a case about why this community is once again the exception rather than the rule.
Throw in a huge dab of philanthropy — thank you anonymous $60,000 donor — and bringing back the theatre to its former glory is now a tangible reality.
The society still has a huge task ahead of it. A significant amount of money must be raised before regular traffic streams through the doors. And just because movie lovers are giddy with excitement now, it will take much more than a stellar opening weekend to fuel the long-term sustainability of the theatre.
But what a terrific start it was.
Congratulations to all of those involved in pulling off the weekend. There’s plenty more work to be done, but the opening scene of this movie looks like we’re headed for a happy ending.