The Fraser Valley community of Cloverdale, B.C., will lose a historic landmark when the Clova Cinema, which has been showing movies on 176th Street since 1947, closes its doors for good at the end of the summer.              

Craig Burghardt has been running the Clova for the last 17 years by leasing it from a private owner. But last week the owner sold the property to a local church.

The new owners are working with the city to maintain the retro feel of the building's exterior, but the long-term plans don't include movies.

Clova Cinema

The two projectors have been nicknamed Martha and Ethel. (Clova Cinema)

Until then Burghardt will keep running movies on the two rickety old film projectors, nicknamed Martha and Ethel.

"All I know is the next five or six months, we're going to run the theatre, bring happiness to the community and try to bring the community even tighter together before we can't do that anymore," says Burghardt.

When the cinema first opened nearly 70 years ago, the community sold bonds to finance the project, but with the advent of multi-screen cinemas in the early 80's, the tiny theatre was forced to shut down.

After spending a few years as a video rental shop and as a  youth centre it was restored and reopened in the 1990's, but now appears destined to end its cinematic tradition once again.

As for Burghardt himself, he says he's been so busy running the business, he hasn't had time to relax and catch a flick, so maybe he'll finally get to watch a movie now.

With files from Jesse Johnston