Out of the Interior: Survival of the Small-town Cinema in British Columbia

Out of the Interior: Survival of the Small-town Cinema in British Columbia is a full-length exploration of classic movie theatres in BC’s southern interior, from Vernon’s Towne Cinema to Creston’s Tivioli; from Grand Forks’ GEM to Revelstoke’s Roxy – and every stop along the way.

(Submitted) Curtis Emde & Silmara Emde delve into the history of public film exhibition in our province, celebrate the communal moviegoing experience in the present – and offer a glimpse of the movie house’s future in the digital age.

The Vancouver-based husband and wife photography and video production team, started documenting this transitional period through a series of articles, photography exhibits and short-form videos. This work became the basis of their multi-media Projection Project (www.projectionproject.com).

They discovered that the switch from traditional 35mm film to digital projection was a major factor in many of the recent closings. The costs of digital conversion was prohibitive for independent venues already struggling with dwindling audiences and diminishing box office returns.

TMTV Photo of Nelson’s Civic Theatre

And yet, some theatres in our smaller cities and towns managed the huge outlay for new equipment and are thriving. Furthermore, Nelson’s Civic Theatre, which had been closed, was successfully re-opened.

It seems that something beyond the switch to digital projection was keeping these cinemas of the southern interior going. But what, exactly?

The documentary is also a tribute to the hard-working men and women of the region who keep the popcorn hot and the movies flickering on our screens.

The Nelson screening of ‘OOTI’ on September 23rd at the Civic Theatre is part of the inaugural Kinesis Festival.

Kinesis will be a four-day event celebrating Kootenay Cinema, featuring screenings, professional development, social events and open space sessions. The selection of the word Kinesis is not incidental: we hope you will join us in setting a prosperous future in motion.

This event is just the beginning.

Click here for the film trailer.