ELORA – Coming to a theatre close to you, a theatre close to you!
The Gorge Cinema is about to re-open on July 21 after being closed virtually steadily because the pandemic began in March 2020.
And Payton Curtis, proprietor and operator of the cinema that initially opened in 1974, couldn’t be happier.
“We had some darkish instances,” Curtis mentioned in an interview within the theatre as he recalled the early days of the pandemic and the way film theatres at first weren’t allowed to open in any respect and once they may, they may not serve meals or drinks.
“Folks like me needed to actually take into consideration (reopening). I used to be dropping cash hand over fist.”
On the time, Curtis had a landlord who wished to raze the historic constructing and assemble a resort as an alternative.
So it wasn’t simply the pandemic that had him rethinking the way forward for the film theatre.
His different job is as a stop-motion animator and he had a proposal to work on a challenge with director Guillermo del Toro.
It wasn’t a nasty gig because the film – Pinocchio – received an Oscar in 2023 for finest animated movie.
“I really like Guillermo del Toro, he’s unbelievable,” Curtis mentioned. “Nevertheless it was bittersweet going again to work.
“I noticed outdated buddies and the movie was an enormous success. It felt good after two years of defeat.”
However the destiny of the Gorge Cinema weighed closely on Curtis. Till he realized he had a brand new landlord.
Kristy Hillis and Don Kogan purchased the constructing that homes each the cinema and the previous Industrial Lodge, and the Elora Mews subsequent door.
Hillis was born and raised in Elora and was horrified to see the state of most of the outdated stone buildings when the couple and their kids returned to Elora to trip out the pandemic.
It seems Curtis and Hillis used to trip the varsity bus collectively once they have been children.
Hillis dedicated to retaining the theatre and put some cash into the power.
It nonetheless has the identical purple theatre chairs, however there’s new flooring, carpet, warmth and air con, and the washrooms have been up to date.
The primary two rows of chairs have been eliminated with cozy, low-backed couches of their place.
There’s additionally a licensed patio outdoors that’s open Wednesdays to Sundays from 1 to 6pm.
And most essential for Curtis, the projector room is now climate-controlled as nicely, retaining the temperature protected and constant for the advantage of the gear.
The primary movie to be screened is The Miracle Membership, starring Maggie Smith, Kathy Bates and Laura Linney.
The present begins on July 21 at 7pm with a particular 2pm matinee screening on July 26.
“That is principally a thanks to the various native people who supported the theatre throughout these tough instances,” Curtis mentioned.
“I believe they’ll like it.”
Subsequent up is North of Regular, which begins July 28 for one week after which Oppenheimer starting Aug. 4.
Curtis is hoping to get Barbie as nicely, though that hasn’t been confirmed.
All the approaching releases, showtimes and ticket particulars may be discovered at gorgecinema.ca.
“As soon as we discover our footing, we’ll work as much as two reveals a day. And I hope to get some children’ motion pictures for matinees,” he mentioned.
“We’re not there but however we’ll get there.”
That’s an announcement that two years in the past, Curtis didn’t suppose he’d ever be saying once more.
“Hopefully the efforts which have gone into this place will repay,” he mentioned.
“I’m simply so comfortable to be displaying motion pictures once more.”