by Derek Martin
On September 28, 1993, City Cinema screened its first movie for the public, Strictly Ballroom. Fast-forward some 1, 700 movies and it’s our 20th anniversary! Check our listings for some special events. We’ll be reprising Food & Film with the appropriately named Haute Cuisine—see the movie, then enjoy a meal based on the film. For some fun around Halloween we’ll have The Movie Repairmen fix Atom Age Vampire—a live comedy/film performance in the style of Mystery Science Theatre 3000. And we are finalizing details for an exciting filmmaker visit in November.
Creating a downtown cinema was Peter Richards’ inspired idea, and I have to thank him for that, as well as the amazing support The Buzz and its great staff have given us—thanks Nancy, Yanik, and Maggie, and former Buzzers!
City Cinema was started on a shoe-string, with the help of a few small investors and our charter members, who bought memberships to a cinema they had never seen. Myself and anyone who has been to a movie at the cinema owe them a debt of gratitude.
In 2002 we joined the Film Circuit, a division of the Toronto Film Festival. Founded in 1989, Film Circuit is TIFF’s successful film outreach programme, bringing the best of Canadian and international films and artists to communities across the country. They do a fantastic job of helping with programming and film traffic, as well as special guests, early release screenings, posters, and all-round moral support. Thanks to all the hard-working Film Circuit staff who have had my back over the years, and currently to manager Meaghan Brander and my booker Laura Good, and the print traffic crew!
Last year the non-profit Charlottetown Film Society was formed to take over the cinema, and we are making steady progress towards that goal. I thank all the dedicated board members and supporters who share the vision of a future City Cinema, not very different from the one we have now, but community owned and ready for the next 20 years.
A huge thanks of course to all our staff and volunteers past and present - too many to name but all-important to our success. You have torn several hundred thousand tickets, scooped (and swept) truckloads of popcorn, hand-cranked miles of film, thank you!
For this issue of The Buzz, thanks to long-time volunteer Peter Rukavina for helping with the statistics, to our friends who shared their cinema memories, and again to Peter and The Buzz for putting it all together.
It’s been great fun working as a cinematic match-maker, searching out the best films for our discerning audience. I think it says a lot for Charlottetown and the Island that they can support a cinema like this when many larger communities haven’t been able to. Thank you all for coming to the movies and sharing this experience with me. Let's keep doing it!