Squamish, a flourishing community nestled between Vancouver and Whistler, has seen a significant increase in population and development recently. Despite the abundance of outdoor activities, residents are calling for more indoor entertainment options, particularly a movie theatre.
A lively debate on social media among locals highlighted the demand for a movie theatre in Squamish to provide entertainment during the region’s frequent rainy days. Suggestions included a drive-in theatre or reopening the former Garibaldi 5 theatre, which had shut down due to insufficient business.
However, the financial challenges of operating a movie theatre in Squamish became apparent, with several commenters mentioning high rent costs and the need for substantial investment. Additionally, finding and retaining staff willing to work for minimum wage has posed a challenge for many local businesses.
Alternative proposals emerged, such as hosting regular movie nights at the Brackendale Art Gallery (BAG) or the Adventure Centre, which could offer more affordable, community-focused experiences for moviegoers.
There was also speculation about a potential movie theatre in the upcoming Nexen Beach development, although no details have been confirmed.
Movie theatres in British Columbia (BC) have experienced various changes and challenges over the years. Some key facts about BC’s movie theatre industry include:
- Cineplex Entertainment, the largest movie theatre chain in Canada, operates several theatres across BC in cities like Vancouver, Burnaby, Coquitlam, and Langley. These theatres feature cutting-edge technology, reclining seats, and diverse food options.
- BC is home to numerous independent theatres, such as The Rio Theatre in Vancouver and The Vic Theatre in Victoria, which showcase a mix of mainstream, independent, and foreign films while hosting special events and film festivals.
- Film festivals, including the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) and the Victoria Film Festival, promote local and international films and contribute to a vibrant film culture in BC.
- A handful of drive-in theatres, such as the Twilight Drive-In in Langley and the Starlight Drive-In in Enderby, offer a nostalgic and unique movie-watching experience.
- Challenges faced by BC movie theatres include the rise of streaming services and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to temporary closures and financial strain.
- To attract audiences, BC theatres have embraced innovations like VIP experiences, special screenings, and enhanced safety and sanitation measures.
As BC continues to grow, the movie theatre industry will need to adapt to changing consumer preferences and emerging technologies to remain relevant and successful.
The conversation also addressed broader issues affecting Squamish, such as high housing costs, rising property taxes, and inadequate infrastructure like sidewalks and parking. Balancing the needs of long-time residents and newcomers will be essential for fostering a sustainable and vibrant community as the town expands.