CORNWALL, Ontario – It’s hoped a new look to an old girl will return moviegoers to Le Village in Cornwall.
The Port Theatre is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2016. A slew of upgrades to the theatre, including digital sound and projection worth $70,000 and digital advertising out front is helping to usher in a new era for the movie house that was once known as The Roxy.
So is one special guest.
The Port will host the Canadian premier of The Break-In – an award-winning Swedish film from director Marcus Ovnell Feb. 12 (7:15 p.m.). Ovnell will be at the theatre for the premier – one of the few times it has been featured on this side of the Atlantic.
The Break-In has only been screened a few times in North America at film festivals (including the Gasparilla International Film Festival in Florida where it took home the grand jury prize).
“It’s huge for us,” said Sylvain. “We’re always trying to think outside the box.”
Nikolai Adams, a local film critic and movie expert, helped secure the premier for Cornwall when he ran into director Ovnell at the St. Lawrence International Film Festival last fall.
“It’s pretty exciting,” he said. “I can pretty much guarantee The Port has never seen anything like this.”
Not in 75 years, that’s for sure.
Sylvain said the plan is to offer moviegoers something different than they would find at larger-scale multiplexes that offer the latest Hollywood blockbuster or animated feature, but can often miss other films that appeal to different audiences.
“I didn’t have to think twice about doing this,” he said of The Break-In premier.
Sylvain is hoping to resurrect The Roxy moniker too, as soon as he raises the necessary capital to change the sign out front. Renovations inside are taking hold, including the concession stand which has been completely remodeled.
Since moving to digital projection Sylvain said studios that once ignored The Port are now calling him with offers.
“Now I’m getting calls from studios – ‘Play this. Play that. You can have this,'” he said.
Friday the Oscar-nominated ‘Room’ starring Brie Larson opens at The Port. Not too far behind will be another Oscar favourite, Brooklyn.