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March 17 marks last day for Sidney’s Star Cinema at temporary location

Historic theatre will move into new three-screen digs at previous location in late summer
Star Cinema manager Shannon Davis holds up a bag of popcorn outside of Scotty’s Dog Shack, as owner Scott Keanie offers up a hot dog. The Star Cinema will be selling popcorn here Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. during the theatre’s temporary closure, which starts March 17. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Sidney’s Star Cinema will soon go dark at its temporary location, as the historic business awaits the opportunity to move into a new space on its old site.

The March 17 showing of Cyrano, a version of the Cyrano de Bergerac story starring Peter Dinklage of Games of Throne fame, will be the last screening at the temporary space in the 9800-block of Fifth St.

General manager Lindsay Pomper said it is not clear yet when the theatre’s new location in the Cameo residential development at Third Street and Sidney Avenue will be available. The property was home to the Star Cinema prior to its closure and demolition just prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I believe it’s going to be late summer, but there can always be unpredictabilities with construction,” she said. “But the goal right now is late summer … Everybody is working as fast as they can.”

The upcoming theatre closure is ultimately expected to last four to five months. A flyer previously distributed by theatre management said the shutdown would be longer than initially planned due to pandemic-related delays and the fixed lease agreement at its temporary location.

RELATED: Sidney’s Star Cinema raises curtain for the first time after months in the darkness

A period of closure was expected during the transition, “because you have to move all the chairs and equipment and stuff like that,” Pomper said, but they weren’t anticipating as long as four or five months.

“We hope that people don’t forget about us.”

Local friends of the cinema won’t be entirely without a “taste” of the silver screen, as Star Cinema will be selling popcorn from Scotty’s Dog Shack on Beacon Avenue during their temporary closure, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m.

“We are really thankful to the owner (Scott Keanie) to partner with us, so that we can still have some visibility in Sidney,” Pomper said. Having endured previous closures caused by COVID restrictions, she predicted the business will get through this stretch as well.

As for Star Cinema’s temporary location, plans call for its remodelling into an veterinarian’s office.

Overall, the temporary shift worked out well, Pomper said.

“I really loved it and we have gotten a lot of good feedback about this theatre. It’s a shame that it opened right at the start of the pandemic, so we didn’t get full use of it. But it was amazing that Casman (Properties) provided this amazing space for us. That is going above and beyond. So I’m fond of this little place and I’m going to kind of miss it. But I’m definitely looking forward to the new theatre.”

While crews are still working on the building, the wait will be worth it, she added.

“We got to tour it this week and it is looking really, really good.”

With its three screens, the new theatre will offer a lot more flexibility in programming when it re-opens, Pomper said. “It’s going to be a beautiful new theatre.”

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Wolf Depner

About the Author: Wolf Depner

I joined the national team with Black Press Media in 2023 from the Peninsula News Review, where I had reported on Vancouver Island's Saanich Peninsula since 2019.
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