The Force is clearly with the Arrow Lakes Theatre in Nakusp.
It just finished its first weekend showing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and the theatre was packed.
“I think it’s awesome,” said Patrick Martin. “It’s good that the theatre is able to get movies like this.”
He said it’s nice being able to just walk down the street to see it. So far, he’s seen the movie twice.
Bringing the movie, which is poised to be the highest grossing film of all time, to Nakusp was actually simpler than one might think.
“We have a booker and we call them up, and we ask them when we can get the movie,” said Shelley White, owner of the Arrow Lakes Theatre. “They get in touch with the film company, and they tell us when you can have it.”
The whole process probably takes half a day, maybe less.
There is a cost to getting the film to Nakusp in a certain time frame. To get it here about a month after the film’s release, the theatre gives about 65 per cent of its box office earnings to Disney.
“You’d like to keep more of the box office, but if you want to get it in a timely fashion, you have to pay what they want.”
While the theatre is open on weekends, White said the cost isn’t worth being open during the week.
“By the time we heat the place, pay somebody to come and work, turn all the projectors on, it’s not worth it,” she said. “We might get maybe ten people, one night we might not get any people.”
People do come out for the bigger films. The Hunger Games series, and The Avengers series have done fairly well here.
Part of the reason the theatre struggles is not as many people seem to go to the movies anymore. Streaming sites like Netflix and Shomi make it easier to access movies on demand, and the monthly subscription cost for these sites are very affordable.
White said they have some regulars who come all the time, but it’s the kids who really keep the theatre going.
“The kids are really important — we try to gear a lot of things around kids,” she said. “We have a lot of free movies, the kids really seem to like those.”