They say necessity is the mother of invention, and it’s certainly a true sentiment for Gordon Sheridan, who felt Cranbrook needed a repertory theatre and made it his mission to create one.
Sheridan has founded The REP and will be showing classic films and creating a marvellous cinema experience out of the Cranbrook Community Theatre starting on Friday, Nov. 1 with Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece The Shining.
“If I’m being honest, I started it because there was nothing like it going on in town right now,” Sheridan explained. “You can see mainstream movies at the Landmark Cinema, or you can catch some high-brow sort of entertainment at the Key City Theatre every once in a while as far as cinema goes. But as far as a true repertory theatre in town there just wasn’t one.”
Sheridan is no stranger to this particular business having been manager at the Wildhorse Theatre playing movies out of Fort Steele. He said the biggest component of getting The REP going was securing his film license, which he has done through Criterion Pictures. Anything they have on home DVD he can show.
He went with The Shining for the first film as he wanted to start with a horror movie to coincide with the Halloween season, and said it was a toss up between that or The Exorcist, but The Shining eventually won out.
He also partnered with the Kimberley Horror Fest, which takes place the next evening, for the first showing, and ticket holders get $5 off the $10 admission to see The Shining.
The second film, to be shown on Friday, Nov. 15 will be Blade Runner and it was also chosen for a number of reasons. Ridley Scott’s trendsetting cyberpunk film first debuted in 1982 and was based off of Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
The film is set in November 2019 and so obviously showing it in November 2019 makes a lot of sense. It’s also timely, Sheridan pointed out, due to the recent passing of actor Rutger Hauer who starred in the film.
The third film on the schedule was chosen as a children’s matinee and takes place on Sunday, Nov. 24 at 2 p.m. — Tim Burton’s classic Beetlejuice.
“The theme I’m going with at the beginning is ‘80s,” Sheridan explained. “Seeing as how the ‘80s are so hot right now with things like Stranger Things, so Beetlejuice just fit naturally for November when I was doing The Shining as a horror movie anyway.”
Sheridan said that these nights will be much more than just a chance to watch a classic film on the big screen, it will be “a night out at the movies like you haven’t seen in a long time.”
Ahead of each showing, guests will be treated to retro cartoons and other nostalgia-rich snippets such as Canadian Heritage Moments. Sheridan will also come up on stage and give a mini lecture about the movie before it begins, setting the scene with fun facts and trivia about each one.
Each movie, regardless of length, will have an intermission. This will give guests the chance to hit the concession stand which will be open at each show, providing chocolate bars, candy, beverages and popcorn — from the brand-new commercial popcorn machine Sheridan purchased.
At some nights in the future Sheridan will even secure a liquor license so moviegoers can enjoy a beer or wine while they watch.
Sheridan also said that while he is the frontman for the business, who will be up on stage and making the Facebook posts, The REP is a family business through and through. You’ll see his son behind the counter serving popcorn and his wife will eventually be introducing the films as he does.
So rejoice, movie lovers, and come out for The Shining on Friday, Nov. 1; doors at 6:30, showtime at 7.