Acadia Cinema’s Upcoming Anniversary

A landmark on Wolfville’s Main Street is having its 100th anniversary in the new year, and the celebration includes you!

The front portion of the Acadia Cinema building was built in 1907. It became a cultural venue in the small university town in 1911 when the opera house was added at the back. Today the Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre and Studio-Z are on the old opera house site. In 1927 the venue became the Orpheum Theatre, as the burgeoning film industry began to outpace live performance. In 1947 the wooden structure was rebuilt as the Acadia Theatre, a single screen movie house which later became the Acadia Twin Cinemas and then a triplex. Competition from the multiplex movie houses, and the retirement of long-time manager Al Whittle, finally closed the Acadia Cinema in 2000. Four years later the Acadia Cinema Cooperative Ltd., opened the doors of the arts venue we have today.

The Acadia Cinema Coop has initiated a community-wide celebration called “100 Years of Stage and screen”. The coop’s public relations group met last week to form a 100th Anniversity Committee and explore ideas for celebrating the history of Wolfville’s premier performance venue. Attending were Maxine Barrett, Dorothy King, Stan Moeller and Tim Fisk, supported by the PR committee of Nancy Saul-Demers, Susan Hauer and Pam Ackerman.

Initial suggestions included interviews with seniors and others with memories to share about the “old days”; local exhibits, talent and/or theatrical shows, silent films with live music, multimedia history projects with local schools, and maybe even an opera.

The committee decided the next step is greater community involvement. It’s asking anyone with a memory to share, and/or pictures or memorabilia from the theatre to get in touch. If you’re an artist with an idea you’d like to put on stage or into an exhibit, jump on board. You can also join the committee and get in on the planning and decision-making. Call Dorothy at 542-9625 or email 100@acadiacinema.coop.

The committee’s next meeting is Thursday, December 9th at 7PM at the theatre. All are welcome.