Sudbury's independent cinema director says people are 'hungry' for art

Beth Mairs says the first days of the Sudbury’s Indie Cinema Co-Op’s reopening were “daunting.”

People have been slowly returning to the communal event of movie-watching in theatres

Beth Mairs is the director of the Sudbury Indie Cinema Co-Op. (Markus Schwabe/CBC)

Beth Mairs says the first days of Sudbury's Indie Cinema Co-Op's reopening were "daunting."

The downtown theatre, which showcases independent movies from around the world, has taken all the precautions needed to comply with provincial regulations on social distancing.

And people, Mairs said, have slowly been returning.

"We had to reimagine how to open and do so in a way that would be sort of, you know, minimize any sort of risks to our staff or volunteers, the public, the Sudbury community," Mairs said. "And so it felt like this huge responsibility."

She said the first few weeks they treated as a dry run, to "work out the kinks." Since then, the numbers of viewers has increased, and for the most part, with an agreeable attitude. 

"Any of the measures we had where it was incumbent upon the patron to do something like wear a mask or sanitize, we only had pushback from, I would say, one percent of the public."

But pandemic concerns aside, Mairs said the importance of providing a venue for art lovers has been a driving factor in continuing to keep the doors open. 

"The other observation was just how hungry people have been for a communal experience of art, for a community event," Mairs said. "The fact that we've been able to open and provide that, it's really gratifying."

This month, the cinema is showcasing a remastered version of David Cronenberg's 1996 film Crash

Also on the schedule, Dave's Not Coming Back, an adventure story filmed in South Africa, Ash, the story of a small-town reporter accused of horrendous things, and Song Without a Name, the story of a mom searching for her stolen daughter. 

You can see more films on the schedule by visiting the Sudbury Indie Cinema Co-Op web site.


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