Nov 29, 2023

Hurry Up & Wait: Monarch Documentary

I can sum up my rollercoaster of a year in just a few headlines, despite being pretty quiet about the Monarch Theatre and my documentary over the last few months. Spurred on again by today's story in the newspaper about the cinema, I realized that this game of "hurry up and wait" is causing some confusion about what's happening. 

Make no mistake, I'd love nothing more than to finally have news to share about the premiere, when it's happening, and how you can get your tickets to see the film. A year ago the expectation that this would be out in 2023 was not only incredibly realistic, I was also committed to that plan as contractually I knew it's when the film would be delivered. 

Unfortunately, a lot of the activity surrounding the Monarch Theatre and its reopening has taken considerably longer than expected, and contrary to some popular belief, this activity doesn't involve me at all. I'm watching from the sidelines just like everyone else. 

The 2 hour and 15 minute documentary about this historic, largely unknown movie house, "Your Cinema Needs You" was completed this summer following the long-anticipated news that the Monarch Theatre was finally going to be purchased. This was the final piece of the narrative puzzle that I had been waiting for. The film was then finalized, delivered to await distribution, and the plans were set in motion for a premiere that would reopen the cinema. 

This was roughly 3 months ago. 

I know better than anyone how unpredictable a timeline can become when a story is still unfolding. It's also why the wider distribution / streaming of the documentary has been put on hold until it can play in the Monarch Theatre first. The overwhelming local support to see this outcome is now seemingly shared by everyone connected to the documentary, including the new owners / operators of the Monarch. So, here we are. 

Put simply, I know it's taking longer than everyone thought, but as soon as the Monarch is able to confirm a timeline, I'll be shouting it from the rooftops.

Nov 18, 2023

Midnight Madness & Kitschy Thrift Shop Finds

Last night was Midnight Madness in downtown Medicine Hat, Alberta, and over the last couple years, this has become one of my new favourite Christmas traditions. Mostly, it's an excuse to snack and shop, but in addition to a few great visuals (like the balloon glow) we've made a habit of using the event as an excuse to find thrifty treasures around downtown.

Midnight Madness Medicine Hat Alberta
If you're wondering where all of your grandparents' kitschy gems ended up - last night I bought 'em all! I am a sucker for vintage books, film, travel souvenirs, photography, etc.

A few of my finds included more VHS, 45s, and 8 tracks. I also found a handful of location-based glassware, your grandma's spoon collection from around North America, and a handful of vintage travel guides - including the official photo book of the torch relay from the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics, the guidebook from the Tower of London gift shop, and a 1966 travel guide of Pompeii (100% in Italian). And what did my total come to for all of these incredibly rare historic artifacts? A whopping $18 for the night. It was a lot of fun.


Nov 11, 2023

Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix 2023 at the Wynn

Leading up to the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix 2023, the influences of Formula 1 around the Las Vegas Strip have been difficult to ignore. With the city essentially bending over backwards to accommodate all of the construction, one of the most prominent promotions of the event we came across was inside of the Wynn Las Vegas.

Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix Wynn

Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix 2023 Official Poster

Featuring several F1 racecars on display and a map of the circuit, the Wynn was one of the few places (pre-event) with something to actually see - a relatively big deal when you consider that much of the F1 controversy in Las Vegas has been about all of the views that the organizers have blocked from every vantage point on the Strip. 

There's a lot riding on the success of the Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix, so it will be interesting to see the public response as things officially get underway this week. Any inaugural event is sure to have a lot of wrinkles to iron out, but I do want to give credit to the Wynn for their displays and being one of the only properties to actually live up to the hype (in terms of the promotion and exhibition of Formula 1) leading up to the main event.

Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix Wynn

Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix Wynn

Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix Wynn

Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix Wynn

Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix Wynn