On August 31, 1935, a new movie house dazzled audiences for the first time ever in the budding suburb of Westdale in Hamilton, Ontario.
Opening to rave reviews, the Westdale Theatre cast itself as an immediate Hamilton staple for those seeking a high-quality and comfortable movie-going experience.
The theatre continues to act as an anchor in the expanding community today. But recent events suggest that this anchor could soon become unmoored.
On Dec. 22, 2016 the theatre was listed online for $1.8 million.
Westdale’s token theatre has been a long-time supporter of independent cinema. Blockbuster movies rarely don their single screen theatre.
What is featured is a well-curated selection of great films both under and on the public’s radar.
Typical showings feature foreign and award-laden movies, as well as critically-acclaimed films that bear high expectations in their respective award seasons.
Some examples of past showings include Xavier Dolan’s Mommy, Mia Hansen-Løve’s Things to Come and Tom McCarthy’s Academy Award winner Spotlight.
Although devoted patrons find Westdale Theatre’s history charming, its age proves to be its great flaw.
Most students choose to see the latest blockbuster at pricier Cineplex theatres, which offer D-Box live-action seats, 3-D movie experiences and IMAX surround sound systems.
Compared to the lofty prices of tickets and concessions at these mainstream cinemas, it’s a wonder why more people don’t favour Westdale Theatre for their $10 tickets and affordable snacks.