The theft of five large speakers from the Garibaldi 5 Stadium Cinemas won't steal the magic of the movies from Squamish.
The theatre will open in Garibaldi Village as scheduled next Friday (Oct. 8) for a 5 p.m. show. The speakers were stolen on late Sunday evening or early Monday morning from the theatre.
"For a project that has been going so well, it definitely deflated us a bit," said Jay DeWitt, the district manager for Resort Cinemas of Whistler, the company that owns the theatre.
The theft is being investigated, he said.
"We're hopeful that the people who did it are brought to justice."
In the meantime, the speakers have been replaced, a security system installed, and the long awaited opening is looming.
"It's due time. We need a serious theatre, something that is committed to the community," said Justin Mede, the theatre manager and a 16-year Squamish resident. "It's too much trouble to drive to the city or Whistler to see a movie."
Marshall Smith, part owner of Resort Cinemas of Whistler, called Squamish an "underdeveloped market."
He said the theatre is a plus for parents who don't have to worry about their children driving on the Sea to Sky to go see a movie.
"We'll take good care of their kids," he said.
The cinema boast five auditoriums, with the average screen size around 28 feet wide by 15 feet high. Total seating in the 12,000-square-foot facility is 600 people.
First-run movies will be playing on five screens, with weekend matinées and weekly evening shows.
"It think it's going to be a great place for families and friends to come together to get away from real life," said Andrew Noaro, the theatre's general manager.
One of the first movies to play in the theatre will probably be Shark Tale, and Shall We Dance (starring Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez) will be playing on Oct. 15, Smith said. For a complete list of showtimes and prices, see www.village8.ca, until the theatre can set up its own website.
The project, which has been in the works for two years and broke ground in April, is wrapping up the rest of construction in preparation for the opening weekend.
"We've had our struggles just like any new build," DeWitt said. "We know we are going to make it on time."
The grand opening weekend is Oct. 9 and 10. On Oct. 9, there will be a 10 a.m. showing of Shrek 2, with all the proceeds will go towards Squamish Community Christmas Care.
The theatre is also going to hire 20 to 25 people to work at the various jobs like manning the concession. Last weekend around 100 people were interviewed for jobs.
DeWitt said public reaction to the theatre building has been "amazing."
This is the first time people have come up to the door to ask when the theatre will be opening, said DeWitt, who has overseen the building of many other theatres.
"I've never seen how they're embracing this project," he said.