Jan 12, 2024

The Last Remnant of the Roxy Theatre

A few more clues have emerged following the premiere screenings of my documentary "Your Cinema Needs You" at the Monarch Theatre in Medicine Hat, Alberta.

The owners of the building that once housed the Roxy Theatre in downtown Medicine Hat were in attendance at one of the debut screenings and sent me a message about something they'd found in the basement of their building. Keeping in mind that the Roxy closed in 1960 and was immediately renovated, it seemed incredibly unlikely that anything from its history had remained after so many decades and businesses that followed.

But sure enough, tucked away in the very back corner of the basement was one last remnant. A single lamp house from one of the Roxy's projectors has been hiding out here for over 60 years since the cinema was dismantled. To add to this, I found a picture of the Roxy's projection room featuring who we believe to be Bev Botter's father, Tony Botter. Bev appeared in my documentary and shared her memories of her father when he was a projectionist.

So, within the span of a week an image of this projector when it was newly installed at the Roxy Theatre in 1941 emerged and I was able to see that a piece of it had still been hiding in the same building all of these decades later.

This is essentially how the documentary research progressed over 2 years throughout the entire production. Little clues would eventually link up and paint a larger picture of what had happened. And if you're now thinking I'd really like to see "Your Cinema Needs You" at the Monarch for myself - good news! I'll be formally announcing new February screening dates next week.

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