Part art installation, part scrapyard, I can appreciate the fact that the abandoned aspect of the Salton Sea's Bombay Beach has continued to evolve over the years. The Bombay Beach Drive-In is quite obviously not a working theatre, but its collection of classic wrecks is both playful and haunting in its junkyard depiction of the drive-in aesthetic in the middle of the blistering California desert. There's actually quite a bit to see. In my opinion, worth the stop.
Oct 16, 2023
Jul 30, 2023
It has been one year and seven months to the day - 577 days to be exact - since I made an announcement about the Monarch Theatre, a signed production agreement, and the new feature-length documentary I had going into production at the start of 2022.Deciding to uncover the story about a potentially significant old cinema is one thing, but you can't really appreciate just how long 112 years actually is until you find yourself face to face with what a single newspaper archive spanning that timeframe looks like up close - and worse, just how sparse the clues in those archives are when the subject you've chosen to focus on is a seldom written about single screen movie house in the middle of the Canadian prairies.
What can I say though? I do love movies and the places that show them.
It's honestly been a dream to explore, document, interview, contextualize, and uncover artifacts in connection to a cinematic landmark that (let's be honest) the vast majority of Canadians have understandably never heard of before. There's something exciting about knowing you've found your hook though, a point that only became reinforced when just a month into production the announcement about my little movie was picked up and spread nationally by the Toronto Star.
And, oh yeah, was the Monarch ever going to reopen again? This news hung over the production for over a year while plans shifted, promises changed, and I continued to pretend that I knew what the conclusion to my movie would eventually be. As the Calgary Herald so fittingly put it in their feature about the documentary, "true stories rarely have tidy endings".
So, here we are. After all of the teasers, updates, sneak peeks, rumours, changes, and behind the scenes snapshots, I guess it's finally time that I break the long-awaited news (and yes, I thought I'd make a meal out of this update too) the documentary is actually done. Scored, previewed, revised, rendered, cut, locked, and now awaiting release.
Your Cinema Needs You is finally, officially complete.
Dec 4, 2022
It's always a thrill to capture really distinct locations on travel shoots, but there's really no beating those few rare experiences when you end up with an otherwise incredibly busy location almost entirely to yourself. Here's a look at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Walt Disney World in Florida during an after hours shoot with absolutely no crowds in the park.
Apr 9, 2022
This weekend I posed a question on my socials targeted at Medicine Hat, Alberta locals to share their movie memories from the former Towne Theatre. Closed in 2007, this was once the spot to see all of the biggest flicks when they came to the Hat. The responses were excellent.
Production on the documentary briefly moved into the Towne last month to capture some new footage of the abandoned movie theatre. You can expect new interviews, images, and the history of this former landmark theatre to appear in the finished film.
Mar 21, 2022
Mar 16, 2022
Documentary production briefly moved centre stage this week with some exploration of the abandoned spaces within the former Towne Theatre in Medicine Hat, Alberta. Those who remember seeing movies here would now be hard pressed to recognize this interior as the cinema it once was, but there are still a few clues hiding within these walls.
It's a strange feeling to return to a place you so actively remember from your own childhood, not least of which because you find yourself tapping into memories you didn't know you still had. Each step just gets me a little more excited about how this documentary is coming together.
This stage of production has become about rounding out a lot of the specific visuals inspired by the stories collected during numerous interviews at the nearby Monarch Theatre. Creating a record of a lot of these forgotten spaces has been a real bonus.