Back in the old days, every small town had it’s own cinema, whose marquee ushered you into the smell of popcorn and the Saturday night glow of the screen. Meaford was no exception. The Capitol Theatre started life as Morrison’s Star Theatre on December 20, 1909, hosting vaudeville troupes, silent movies, and then the talkies, showing the latest movies right up into the 80s.
But the Capitol, like most of those small town theatres, drew the curtains on the big screen more than 25 years ago, and though for awhile it was home to Capitol video, an echo of its past, the days of going out to the pictures faded from town.
Today, if you want to catch the latest blockbuster, both Collingwood and Meaford have Galaxy Cinemas, with six or so large screens apiece. But every second Thursday, the lights go down and the big screen comes alive in Meaford, and for $10 you can see recent releases of interesting and offbeat films – the stuff the big Galaxies don’t show.
And you can enjoy comfortable cushioned chairs or even catch the movie from the balcony in Meaford Hall’s restored theatre.
Here’s a taste of what’s coming up at “Thursday flicks” at Meaford Hall. Many of these films just hit the screens in the last few months. Buy five tickets and save!
Thursday February 16, 4pm | The Guard
The Guard is a comedic fish-out-of-water tale of murder, blackmail, drug trafficking and rural police corruption. Two policemen must join forces to take on an international drug-smuggling gang: one, an unorthodox Irish policeman, and the other a straight-laced FBI agent. Starring Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle.
Thursday March 1, 4pm | Beginners
When it comes to relationships, we’re all beginners. This film imaginatively explores the hilarity, confusion, and surprises of love through the evolving consciousness of Oliver (Ewan McGregor). Oliver meets the irreverent and unpredictable Anna (Mélanie Laurent) only months after his father Hal Fields (Golden Globe winner Christopher Plummer) had passed away.
This new love floods Oliver with memories of his father, who, following the death of his wife of 45 years, came out of the closet at age 75 to live a full, energized, and wonderfully tumultuous gay life. The upheavals of Hal’s new honesty brought father and son closer than they’d ever been able to be. Now Oliver endeavors to love Anna with all the bravery, humour, and hope that his father taught him.
Thursday March 15, 4pm | The Debt
The espionage thriller begins in 1997, as shocking news reaches retired Mossad secret agents Rachel (Helen Mirren) and Stefan (Tom Wilkinson) about their former colleague David (Ciarán Hinds). All three have been venerated for decades by their country because of the mission that they undertook back in 1965, when the trio tracked down Nazi war criminal Vogel (Jesper Christensen) in East Berlin. At great risk, and at considerable personal cost, the team’s mission was accomplished – or was it? The suspense builds in and across two different time periods, with startling action and surprising revelations.
Thursday March 29, 4pm | Le Havre
In this warm-hearted portrait of the French harbour city that gives the film its name, fate throws young African refugee Idrissa (Blondin Miguel) into the path of Marcel Marx (André Wilms), a well-spoken bohemian who works as a shoe shiner. With innate optimism and the unwavering support of his community, Marcel stands up to officials doggedly pursuing the boy for deportation. A political fairy tale that exists somewhere between the reality of contemporary France and the classic cinema of Jean-Pierre Melville and Marcel Carné, Le Havre is a charming, deadpan delight. Winner at Cannes, Chicago and Munich film festivals.
Thursday April 12, 4pm | Monsieur Lazhar
Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Philippe Falardeau and from the producers of last year’s Academy Award®–nominated Incendies, Monsieur Lazhar is one of the most gripping Québécois films of the last decade. The film has already received extraordinary atten¬tion, including Best Canadian Feature Film at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.
Following the tragic and shocking death of a Montreal schoolteacher, Bachir Lazhar– a middle-aged Algerian immigrant seeking political refuge in Quebec – swiftly pursues the opportunity to fill the sudden vacancy and come to the aid of the over¬worked principal and students affected by this tragedy.
Thursday April 26, 4pm | The Artist
Hollywood 1927. George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is a silent movie superstar. The advent of the talkies will sound the death knell for his career and see him fall into oblivion. For young extra Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo), it seems the sky’s the limit – major movie stardom awaits. The Artist tells the story of their interlinked destinies. Winner of three Golden Globe awards.
Thursday May 10, 4pm | The Descendants
The Descendants is a sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant journey for Matt King (George Clooney), an indifferent husband and father of two girls, who is forced to re-examine his past and embrace his future when his wife suffers a boating accident off of Waikiki. The event leads to a rapprochement with his young daughters while Matt wrestles with a decision to sell the family’s land handed down from the Hawaiian royalty and missionaries. Winner of two Golden Globes.
Thursday May 24, 4pm | My Week with Marilyn
In 1956, 23-year-old Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne), just down from Oxford and determined to make his way in the film business, worked as a lowly assistant for six months on the set of “The Prince and the Showgirl.” The film famously united Sir Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh) and Marilyn Monroe (Golden Globe winner Michelle Williams), who was at the same time, on a honeymoon with her new husband, playwright Arthur Miller (Dougray Scott).
Throughout filming, each evening Clark wrote the day’s events in a diary. Nearly 40 years after, Clark’s book “The Prince, the Showgirl and Me” was published, but with one week missing. The account of that week was published some years later as “My Week with Marilyn.” When Arthur Miller left England, Colin had the opportunity to introduce Marilyn to some of the pleasures of British life; an idyllic week in which he escorted a celebrity desperate to get away from her retinue of Hollywood hangers-on and the pressures of work.