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The owner of Charlottetown's City Cinema shares his insights

by Derek Martin

While I'm more than happy to have made it to the odometer rollover that is New Year's 2000, I think I share the feeling of a lot of people that it is not as significant as media and advertisers would have us believe. History as taught in high school would be a lot easier if important events stuck to round numbered years, but they don't. What happened in 1900? 1950? I bet they celebrated, but Great World Parties were not seen as a necessary subject at MRHS. My biggest Y2K concern now is the stack of unused cheques in the drawer with _____19___ printed on them.

There hasn't been a lot of millennial hoopla in the movie business, maybe because hoopla is business as usual for Hollywood, or perhaps because nobody was organized enough in time. I am sure it's not because anyone was being smart, rational, or restrained on purpose. We have seen an article or two on where film might be headed in the twenty-hundreds, but they've been based on current trends, and seemed to be more about filling column inches than offering real insight.

I do have real insight to offer, because I work face to face with the movie-going public, and I know the questions that people really ask. I don't need research companies and focus groups. So instead of a lot of speculative nonsense, here are the answers people really want-the City Cinema F.A.Q.

Where do you get your movies?

They're usually booked from distributors in Toronto and shipped by bus from a depot in St. John.

How do you pick them?

I read dozens of reviews in magazines, newspapers and online, consider what kinds of films people have responded well to in the past, and try and make sure every month has lots of variety.

What's in that popcorn topping?

It's a tasty, healthy 50/50 mix of real butter and margarine.

Those are big reels! (Not really a question, but it is an invitation to talk).

Yes, we splice the film that comes on small twenty-minute reels onto one big one that will run through our projector uninterrupted.

Are you getting that movie?


Are you getting that movie back?


I forgot my card. Do I have to pay full price?


What do you do with your posters?

I archive them. Video stores are your best bet for used posters, though policies differ. Downtown Convenience have been selling theirs for ninety-nine cents.

What's the phone number for the Charlottetown Mall Cinemas?


Is that movie subtitled?

You got a problem with that?

Do you like the Victorian Christmas light display?

It's okay, but I would have preferred a monorail.

I was expecting a recording.

This must be the only business where some people prefer listening to a machine. However, I do answer the phone when I'm in, and love to talk about movies, so don't be shy!

Is that it? (After hearing what's playing).


Do you like the Victorian Christmas light display?

It's okay, but I would have preferred a monorail.

What kind of movies do you show?

Good ones.

A big thanks to all our moviegoers for their support and encouragement so far, and Happy New Year!

Events Calendar

January 2019
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27 28 29 30 31

Some Upcoming Events


January 25–28
City Cinema 14A, coarse language, nudity, mature subject matter
Dir: Alfonso Cuarón, [ ... ]

The Charlottetown Film Society & L’Ipéen...

Select dates
City Cinema Tickets at the door, cash only, $7, or visit for advance [ ... ]


January 29–February 3
City Cinema 14A, coarse language, substance abuse
Dir: Ethan Hawke, US, 129 m [ ... ]

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