ERIN LINN MCMULLAN
Special to the Westerly
Sandi Rideout has been trying to show as many Best Picture Oscar contenders as possible at Monday Night Movies in the Clayoquot Sound Community Theatre. All three auteur films in March vied for final gold at the 90th Academy Awards, including: Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water, James Ivory’s Call Me By Your Name, and Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird.
“The thing I like about cinema is the shared experience,” Rideout explained, pointing out that “true cinematic experience” can’t be replicated even if you have a big home theatre. A theatre board stalwart, Rideout has been a cinephile since she was a young girl dreaming of Hollywood stardom.
Despite not being a first-run theatre, Rideout’s passion-project has kept on trend providing west coast audiences with that cinematic experience since its debut on April 18, 2005 with biopic Ray featuring Jamie Foxx’s Oscar-winning performance. She has a knack for sourcing relevant films from hot-from-Sundance Patti Cake$ to Loving Vincent, Academy Award nominee for Best Animated Feature.
A new digital projector currently being sourced will enable the theatre to access newer movies at cost and online, eliminating shipping and wait times. A new lens, suitable for accurate throw distance in the small, black box theatre will also be purchased.
“The new projector will allow us to show high-definition movies and will be compatible with more types of input,” said Rideout, a challenge underscored during her recent legal download of Patti Cake$. (Monday Night Movies holds two licences under distributors Audio Ciné and Criterion). Mid-preview iTunes informed Rideout she had neither an HD output or input (projector and laptop both). She was grateful to Tofino Tech’s Kevin Bruce for creating a workaround over five hours right up to the time the audience arrived.
The new projection update was kick-started when Tofino Co-op approached Clayoquot Sound Community Theatre Association (CSCTA) with a $10,000 donation.
“We are great supporters of the theatre,” said Rene Gibson, Co-op’s Director of Member Relations, who stresses its cultural advantage. “Co-op likes to put on and sponsor shows for children in the community and we work closely with Sandi.”
Additional fundraising efforts have contributed towards the purchase from Small Fry Cinema’s twice-monthly showing of children’s movies to a screening of Dirty Dancing on “Gal-entines” Day organized by new theatre manager, Jayson Towers.
“I adore our little 72-seat black box theatre and will do anything I can to support it,” said Cindy Hutchison, whose son Eno was her inspiration. “My hope is that Small Fry Cinema was able to allow people to see new release kids’ movies without having to venture all the way across island.”
“Our true vision for the theatre,” added Rideout, “is to have a new one with the building of the new library and civic centre, we hope there will be room for a 110-seat theatre.”
“We are really hoping some new folk will come out to continue working to make the theatre a vibrant place,” she concluded, inviting these people to attend CSCTA’s AGM in April.