The Westdale Theatre roars back to life this week following a volunteer group’s $4.5-million purchase and restoration of the 1935 heritage building.
A sellout crowd of 345 people will walk the red carpet on Thursday night for a Valentine’s Day showing of Casablanca.
Westdale Cinema Group’s Graham Crawford says their success is a result of community “goodwill.”
Crawford notes that they were able to fundraise the cost of the restoration with “no provincial money, no federal money — all of it from Hamiltonians.”
There are plaques on each of the theatre’s 345 seats to recognize people who have donated $250 or more.
The Westdale Theatre will primarily show films on its single screen, but there will also be concerts, plays and community events.
Crawford says the opportunity to save the building while upgrading the picture and sound quality and showing movies in a space that looks like it did in 1935 was a “prime motivation.”