Since moving to town almost three years ago, there’s one fact about Squamish that always elicits a jaw-drop from my friends not living in the Sea to Sky.
Squamish doesn’t have a movie theatre.
The response is always the same.
What? No movie theatre? What kind of place is that? How do you watch what’s going on?
The answer is: you don’t. Or you travel an hour north or south.
This past summer blockbuster season was particularly painful. Whenever everybody started talking about the new Aladdin or The Lion King, I had to stay painfully silent. To this day, I still haven’t seen them. (But that may change once they become streamable — Aladdin, I think, is now on Disney Plus.)
With the Academy Awards having just recently announced their frontrunners, as well as the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild awards having just taken place, this painful reality hit me once more.
This was also exacerbated by one of my recent attendances at council, where Mayor Karen Elliott floated the idea of adding a movie theatre to the proposed Hunter Place redevelopment plan.
The possibility of having a movie theatre in town is certainly exciting.
Scrolling through the nominations, the most reliable predictor of what I saw this year was whether or not it was on Netflix. (Thanks, Marriage Story, The Irishman, and The Two Popes!)
Hopefully, that can change.
But, as Coun. John French voiced during council, we have had a movie theatre before — and it died slowly and painfully. Should we be opening another one to the same fate?
My hope is that we can perhaps reach some sort of middle ground.
I doubt a massive Cineplex-style theatre could survive here. But perhaps any future cinephile who hopes to start up a place here could model it after a smaller indie theatre like the Rio in Vancouver?
Or if even that is too grand an ambition, perhaps the Sea to Sky Gondola (which already was showing drive-in movies) Quest University, one of the art galleries or co-working spaces could hash out a deal where they get the rights to show a movie that’s currently on the big screens everywhere else?
Many of them already do intermittent screenings of films that came out months ago. Why not make it a current film once a week? But it’s easier said than done, I suppose.
Regardless, here’s to hoping that next Oscar season, Netflix will not be the only reliable indicator of what I’ve seen on the nominations list.