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Author Topic: Vancouver's Ridge Theatre to close as repertory cinema
obscurantist
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posted 28 November 2005 07:18 PM      Profile for obscurantist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ridge to reopen as first-run movie house under new owners

quote:
...General manager J Bradford said the Ridge, long known for its double bills, foreign films and special festival events, will hold its last screening Dec. 23. On Dec. 31, the 55-year-old landmark on Arbutus Street will re-open under new ownership as a first-run cinema.

"Property taxes were a factor," said Bradford. "We went into lease negotiations at the end of the summer and were unsuccessful. Ever since it's been a living hell."

When it opened its doors in April 1950, the Ridge was hailed as a "miracle of modern architecture and construction," using the latest in projection equipment including Canada's first, easy-on-the-eyes, high-tech nylon screen and state-of-the-art Gaumont-Kalee projectors. It also offered a soundproof Kiddies Crying Room.

"I grew up in Vancouver and the first time I went to the Ridge I was 12," said Bradford. "My brother was crying so we had to move up to the crying room."

In the 1970s, the theatre became a repertory for second-run movies, showing classic and foreign films at low prices. The theatre also hosted speakers, such as the controversial author Salman Rushdie, and was a venue for numerous film festival screenings including the Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation, which runs Nov. 26 to 28 for the last time at the Ridge, the Banff Mountain Film Festival and the Vancouver Film Festival. This year's Banff festival's World Tour 2005 runs Dec. 2 to 3, also for the last time at the theatre. ...

In an "obituary" in the theatre's final program, the management and staff of the Ridge write that "it is an understatement that for many of us here, life will not be the same... Goodbye and thank-you Vancouver."

On Dec. 10, the Ridge is holding its final poster sale starting at noon. Ridge T-shirts will also be available for purchase.

Bradford said the final line up of films scheduled to play at the theatre next month was carefully planned and includes titles such as From Here to Eternity, The Last Waltz, Casablanca and the travelogue Baraka.

"We wanted to do some classic double bills so we pulled out all the stops searching for them," she said.

The final event scheduled at the theatre is The World's Best Commercials, 2005, Dec. 16 to 23. The Christmas screening of the commercials, which are chosen from among hundreds submitted to the Cannes TV festival each year, is a longtime tradition at the Ridge.


Well, at least it'll still be open as a movie theatre. But yeah, this is the end of an era.


From: an unweeded garden | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 29 November 2005 04:16 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Damn!
From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
obscurantist
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posted 30 November 2005 08:56 PM      Profile for obscurantist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Georgia Straight (Nov. 24):

quote:
However, with local movie-house owner Leonard Schein possibly taking over the lease, the Ridge will likely be maintained and continue to show alternative films. The negotiations arenít complete, so the details are not yet public.

From: an unweeded garden | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
beaver
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posted 30 November 2005 10:03 PM      Profile for beaver     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I hope the Ridge does keep its atmosphere.

Does anyone have suggestions of similar theaters in the Vancouver area?

By similar I mean showing second-run, vintage or alternative film.

[ 30 November 2005: Message edited by: beaver ]


From: here and there | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Islander
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posted 01 December 2005 12:53 AM      Profile for Islander     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Hollywood Theatre is only a few blocks away and shows second run movies. The atmosphere inside is very nice, and it's even more "classic" in design, with a balcony and the same cramped washrooms as the ridge. It does show the odd documentary, but it's mainly Hollywood fare. It's unlikely you'll see Baraka there.

For classic movies, the UBC Theatre is the best deal in town, though I think they recently raised ticket prices (to $3.50). During the week you can catch classic movies and the odd alternative film.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
sarabble
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posted 01 December 2005 04:53 PM      Profile for sarabble     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What a shame about the Ridge going the way of The Blinding Light - an aptly-named repertory microcinema that closed in gastown a few years ago. Boo hoo and bon voyage! I'll always have memories of attending Spike and Mike's Sick & Twisted Animation Festival at the Ridge - they'd throw huge beachballs into the audience to volley around before the show started.

My favourite repertory cinema is the Pacific Cinematheque on Howe Street. They offer quite a diversity of films, plus they host festivals, competitions, educational programs and they have a mailing list so you can keep tabs on what's playing.

Fifth Avenue Cinemas (on - wait for it - 5th Avenue) also screens offbeat films, as does VanEast Cinema on The Drive from time to time. Surprisingly enough, Tinseltown (the building that looks like a great big pail of popcorn) on Pender also screens some independent films - I've been pleasantly surprised with their tendency toward non-Hollywood fare.


From: The Capital | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged
Alexander
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posted 02 December 2005 03:15 AM      Profile for Alexander     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by obscurantist:
Ridge to reopen as first-run movie house under new owners

Well, at least it'll still be open as a movie theatre. But yeah, this is the end of an era.


Its the best movie theatre in Vancouver, showing the best films, I was pretty bummed when I found this out, I have only lived in Vancouver for 5 years but the ridge played an important part in me finding my new city to be comfortable.

Blah ...


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Flash Walken
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posted 05 December 2005 11:36 AM      Profile for Flash Walken     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I used to live on arbutus and 18th and went to ridge a lot.

the ridge is where I had my first taste of 'Manufacturing Consent' complete with an introduction of the movie by the producers prior tothe screening as well as a question period after.

Many a documentary I have had the pleasure of witnessing there.

Also the scene of a particuarly nasty breakup...

ridge o wonderful ridge, I will miss thee


From: Vancouver | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged

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