The lights will remain on at the only theatre in the City of Selkirk.
This comes months after the owners of that theatre decided to close up shop.
The Garry opened on Nov. 29, 1948, and changed hands several times, with the last owner being Landmark Cinemas
Earlier this week, the City of Selkirk announced that they had purchased the Gary Theatre for $350,000 before it went up for sale on the open market.
“We have this burgeoning arts and culture community in Selkirk, but we don’t have this overarching support mechanism in place."
CAO Duane Nicol says in a release from the city that the writing was on the wall for the single-screen theatre and securing it before it went up for sale on the open market provides time to assess what the community wants to do with it.
“It would be difficult to have a fulsome community conversation when you’re under the gun of a land sale,” Nicol says.
“So in the case of the Garry, the city acted quickly because we didn’t want to have any regrets. The property never hit the open market, and now we can have proper conversations about what to do with a building that is a piece of Selkirk’s history and has provided an important service for decades.”
The city has no intention of operating the Garry directly, but they're excited to learn what the community imagines will be playing next at the theatre.
The city has passed a bylaw to create the Selkirk arts and culture committee, the need for which arose out of the city’s Strategic Plan. Nicol says the committee will be a unifying force to facilitate the growth of arts and culture in the city.
“We have this burgeoning arts and culture community in Selkirk, but we don’t have this overarching support mechanism in place,” Nicol says.
"Ultimately there’s a need for this body to bring people together, to have those discussions and to find resources. There are lots of federal and provincial arts and culture grants that are available and this committee will be able to coordinate and access some of those resources. We created the Culture Coordinator position in Selkirk to put some dedicated effort into our arts, culture and heritage programming and services. We’re seeing that investment paying off. The new committee and investments like securing the Garry are demonstrations of the city’s efforts to fulfill its strategic plan and truly embrace our role as a cultural and recreational hub for our region."
Work will now be done to revitalize and update the theatre to bring it up to code and make it more accessible.
With files from Colleen Houde