Adam Beach's film school moving into Winnipeg's Ellice Theatre
Theatre will show first-run movies, while cafe is expected to reopen this fall
Canadian actor Adam Beach's film school for aboriginal youth will be housed at the Ellice Cafe and Theatre building, a longtime community venue in Winnipeg's West End.
New Life Ministries, which had owned the venue at Ellice Avenue and Sherbrook Street, announced the sale of the building to the Adam Beach Film Institute, Bandwidth Digital Releasing Ltd. and Simply Cooked.
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The film institute, a non-profit organization, will train at-risk aboriginal youth in various roles within the film industry.
"My career and my passion started in Winnipeg, and what I'm doing is taking all of my knowledge and experience and bringing it back. So I started the Adam Beach Film Institute to teach and train and create more jobs in Manitoba," he told CBC News on Thursday.
Beach and Bandwidth were recently involved in a "pop-up movie theatre" initiative that has brought first-run Hollywood films, as well as indigenous and international movies, to remote First Nations.
The Ellice Theatre will still be a movie theatre, showing first-run films starting Aug. 29. Opening weekend films will include The Rover, The Immigrant, The Grand Seduction and Earth To Echo.
"The Adam Beach Film Institute has for a long time been a place without a home. It's had more of a virtual presence online," Bandwidth president Jeremy Torrie said.
"We're here to stay, and we're excited to be here."
Torrie added that the West End is a perfect home for the theatre and film school.
"It's a neighbourhood on the rebound," he said.
"We did some research when we were doing our business plan, [and] 20,000 people cross that intersection on a daily basis, so that means there's a lot of opportunity for people to come check us out."
The cafe, to be owned and operated by Christa Bruneau-Guenther, will reopen in the near future under the name Eat Well Cafe. Torrie said the goal is to open the eatery by October for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Founded by pastor and inner-city activist Harry Lehotsky, the Ellice Cafe and Theatre was a non-profit venue that "strives to provide affordable entertainment to residents of the West End community and surrounding areas," according to its website.
Lehotsky died in 2006. The cafe closed in 2012.