Jan 6, 2024

Monarch Documentary: Movie Premiere A Success!

6 days, 7 screenings sold to capacity, and just over 2800 people through the doors. As much as we might sometimes like to think we can orchestrate these things, the long-awaited premiere of my documentary, "Your Cinema Needs You" at the Monarch Theatre became a prime example of a community engaging, showing up, and turning something as casual as a few nights at the movies into a real moment in time for this cinema.

Who could've predicted this response? Because I certainly didn't. The local premiere of my documentary was originally just meant to be a ceremonial stepping stone to our national release. I needed it to happen for the sake of the narrative, but I didn't expect the premiere to become a major plot point in the conclusion of what was already an elaborate story.

You've all helped to welcome back the Monarch Theatre in a way we only dreamed would've been possible. And perhaps one of the greatest compliments of all, is that so many of you came out just because you heard there was a good movie playing. At the end of the day, that's all we were really trying to do. To tell a good story, not merely a good "local" story, but a story that would resonate with anyone who has positive memories surrounding going to the movies or felt a kinship with their own hometown cinema anywhere across Canada.

To everyone who shared their stories and messages following the screenings, thank you. To everyone who rallied to help make these premiere screenings at the Monarch Theatre possible, thank you. To everyone who played a roll in making the production of Your Cinema Needs You over the last two and half years happen, thank you.

I'm seeing your messages asking about more screenings, and if the community is still interested we're considering doing another limited run of the documentary at the Monarch Theatre in February. The national streaming release is still months away, so we're thinking before that happens, there may still be a few of you who would like to experience this story in the cinema where it all takes place.

In closing, thank you again. You've made this experience an absolute privilege and pleasure. A century from now when the next filmmaker makes their documentary about the Monarch Theatre they're going to have to include this moment when the community turned out by the thousands to welcome the cinema back.

We're all a part of this story now.

Luke Fandrich Filmmaker

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