May 12, 2024

International Film Festival Tour in Hong Kong

Your Cinema Needs You, my documentary about Medicine Hat's Monarch Theatre, has made it to the Hong Kong Indie Film Festival as part of its ongoing international festival tour. This marks the 15th official selection that the documentary has picked up to date, and the 9th country that the film has screened in since the premiere wrapped back in mid-February.

In addition to the selection, Your Cinema Needs You has progressed into awards contention with the news that it has been chosen as a semi-finalist. While much of this festival run has been surprising, this news from the Hong Kong Indie Film Festival was particularly unexpected. It's amazing how this story has continued to resonate with audiences overseas. 



 

May 8, 2024

Finale Screenings of the Monarch Documentary

CLICK HERE to purchase movie tickets for "Your Cinema Needs You" at the Monarch Theatre playing May 30th through June 2nd. Evening and matinee shows now available!

After more than 2 years in production, a sold out premiere run, and an ongoing international film festival tour through 2024, the feature-length documentary about one of Canada's most underrated cinematic landmarks is returning to the cinema at the heart of this story, the Monarch Theatre in Medicine Hat, Alberta. 



The finale screenings will mark the conclusion of this multi-year project, and are an exclusive opportunity to return to the Monarch Theatre, experience the largely untold history of one of Canada's last surviving cinemas of the silent era from within its auditorium, and be among the first audiences to see "Your Cinema Needs You" while it's still only available in select theatres as part of its international film festival tour. 

Directed by Luke Fandrich, the 2 hour and 15 minute documentary traces the origins of the Monarch Theatre, the rise and fall of its direct competitors, and the cinema's evolution over 112+ years since it first opened its doors on December 21, 1911. "Your Cinema Needs You" features newly uncovered images, artifacts, and exclusive interviews from individuals spanning the Monarch's history, including former usherettes, managers, projectionists, moviegoers, and more! 

Book your tickets now to experience the start of the Monarch Theatre's next chapter.




May 6, 2024

Monarch Theatre: Taking Her Back to 1941

With the Monarch Theatre now wrapped in scaffolding and "Editing Luke was here" still up on the marquee from the premiere shows of "Your Cinema Needs You", I couldn't have come up with a better visual to demonstrate just how much has been willed into action over the last 3 years in a story about saving a movie theatre. 

With "Your Cinema Needs You" now returning to the Monarch Theatre for the final time on May 30 through June 2, people are understandably asking me, "do you really think you can sell more tickets after the 11 sold out shows of the premiere run?" 



Honest answer? I don't know lol. I have no idea how many people may still be interested, if we can get people to come see it again, or if any of the international film festival success will translate into views in the Hat ... but, I can tell you exactly why we're doing it. 

(1.) The success of the documentary is as good for the Monarch Theatre, as the Monarch Theatre's success is good for the documentary. If running a few more shows helps to further fund the ongoing restoration at the Monarch, the closer we get to regular screenings returning and the preservation of this heritage site and landmark in the long run. 

That was always the point of holding out to have this documentary premiere and reopen the Monarch to begin with - to emphasize the value in saving it. People who are now watching the movie at film festivals are just as curious to see how the cinema is succeeding after the fact and one final run of shows is ultimately the narrative bookend that ties all of this effort together. Put simply, it didn't feel right to have the film travel the world and then not bring it back to the cinema that it was about while it was now actively being saved.
 

(2.) As I'm looking to turn the page on this experience and move on to my next project, I have an idea for a brand new documentary that I'd like to try and develop. Instead of crowd-funding or asking for donations, I'll be using my portion of the revenue from these finale screenings of "Your Cinema Needs You" to directly fund a new proposal. So, if you'd like to see another story about an unexplored chapter of Alberta history in the future (which this new idea is), buying a ticket for this finale will go a long way in making that happen. 

So, think about it? 

Tickets go on sale Wednesday, May 8.

May 5, 2024

Is the Documentary Coming Back to the Monarch?

We're going to end this story where it all began.

Since the premiere screenings of Your Cinema Needs You ended at Medicine Hat's Monarch Theatre in mid-February, this feature-length documentary about Canada's oldest surviving cinema has been on a surprisingly successful international film festival tour. 



From Los Angeles to Tokyo to Stockholm, Your Cinema Needs You has picked up over a dozen official selections, nominations, and screenings across 8 countries (to date). With this tour only 50% complete and now expected to run into the summer we began to discuss what we could do back home to keep this momentum going? 

The Monarch 1911 Society is now deep in renovations and the documentary's screening schedule / release plans are only getting more complicated, but we found a window that will work. From May 30 to June 2, Your Cinema Needs You will return to the Monarch Theatre for its final local shows to celebrate this international run and to mark the end of this insane ride that began in June 2021. 

Tickets (which will include evening and matinee shows) will go on sale this Wednesday, May 8. 

Full details to release this week on this site.