Compiled by Shawn Lamb, Roger Ley
Pre-1930: Movies and live presentations shown at the Nelson Opera House (1898 – 1935), and the Gem, Starland, Emire, and Capitol theatres.
1930: Mayor Barnes authorized by City Council to collect data for a new civic theatre/auditorium for Nelson. The site identified was the 800 block of Vernon Street, north side (former site of the Nelson Fair building).
December 1930: By-law for a $150,000 building to include library, market, city offices and auditorium was introduced and soundly defeated on Dec 24, 1930.
May 1934: Editorial in Nelson Daily News calls for City Council to bring a sound auditorium proposal to the public this year.
January 1935: Conceptual plans for a multifaceted complex presented, including skating and curling rinks and dressing rooms, auditorium, recreation/meeting hall with gallery, meeting rooms and offices.
March, 1935: Alderman Tom Waters heads committee to draw up arrangements for a new Nelson auditorium by-law. Architects McCarter & Nairne begin to work up plans for the new building. Managing committee of of 10 local community leaders formed to lead campaign for new centre.
April 3, 1935: By-law passes for Civic Centre. Construction begins on skating/curling section, then proceeds to auditorium/recreation hall section.
April 25, 1936: Formal opening of the new auditorium; 954 seats.
July 3, 1936: Civic Centre Commission approached by businessmen interested in leasing the auditorium for movies. Unanimous decision: “no”.
1937: Revenue for Civic Theatre for April – November 1937 was just $900. 10-year lease for a movie theatre was reconsidered, and the lessors signed a 10-year lease with a clause providing for continuous operation of the auditorium as a picture show with the possibility of a further 10 years, on a sliding scale of costs. The lease provided that community organizations could use the auditorium by arrangement with the lessors under a set scale of rates. Lessors included Messrs Winters and Butler, Beatty and Johnson’s Kootenay Amusement Company (later Civic Theatres Ltd).
1938: Famous Players took over the lease and operated the theatre until the 1970s, after which a number of private operators leased the Civic Theatre until recently.
2011: The Theatre sits in limbo.
March 2012: Stephen Collins puts out a call to save our theatre.
April 2: Cindy Sherry calls a meeting to save the theatre. City Council extends deadline for proposals to May 31.
April 5 2012: Over 60 people attend the meeting. Plans are set afoot.
May 27 2012: We have collected over 4200 signatures to save our theatre!
Sept 7 2012: 625 Members!
Sept. 10 2012: NCTS has over 800 members!
Sept. 20 2012: Save On Foods backs our project and invites customers to become members.
Sept. 30, 2012: NCTS reaches 1000 Members!
Oct. 22 2012: NCTS presents it’s proposal to City Council
Nov. 5 2012: NCTS receives unanimous support from City Council and is handed the keys
Nov-Dec 2012: Much work is done cleaning and clearing.
Dec 15 2012: Volunteer clean up crew scrub the theatre from top to bottom.
Jan 7 2012: Our first staff job postings! Looking for 2 project managers. Sue Adam and Roger Ley hired
Jan 29 2013: NCTS begins push for a new digital projector.
Feb 1 2013: NCTS receives coverage in the National Post for our efforts saving our theatre.
Mar. 11 2013: Save On Foods steps up support for our Community Challenge
Mar. 19 2013: NCTS begins selling advanced online tickets for movie nights.
Mar. 21 2013: We host our second movie weekend – spaghetti westerns, Django Unchained
April 11 2013: NCTS announces it’s Civic Ambassador program.
April 24 2013: NCTS and the City of Nelson announce online Donations are now available and qualify for Charitable tax receipts.
Jun 6 2013: Our first delivery of the new digital system starts arriving.
Jun 7 2013: Leading up to our first digital movie, our friends at the Capitol Theatre announce 10% off costume rentals for all Civic Theatre events.
Jun 13 2013: Our new Digital Projector and 7.1 surround system gets a test drive, just days before our grand re-opening!
Jun 14 2013: The Civic Theatre re-opens: digital picture, 7.1 surround sound. Star Trek Into Darkness kicking off a summer of regular weekly blockbusters. The Civic hires its first concession staff, ticket staff, and cleaning crew!
July 17 2013: The Civic Theatre opens its doors to the first fundraiser for a local society.
July 22 2013: Global TV broadcasts a story of our successful fundraising drive.
July 25 2013: The Civic Theatre hosts our first private rental, live event on our stage. Weekly movies continue.
Oct. 8 2013: To help with overwhelming demand for the theatre (and more work than we could have imagined!) we announce plans to hire a new assistant manager.
Oct 31 2013: The Civic Theatre hosts its first (annual?) Rocky Horror Picture Show. Many costumes witnessed. Many strange images irrevocably burned in to brains.
Nov. 6 2012: NCTS releases a Request For Proposal to hire an architectural team to design the three-screen future of our theatre.