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Three more showings of historic Monarch Theatre film added after sell-outs

Posted on January 4, 2024 by Ryan Dahlman
112923 - The Monarch Theatre was recently purchased by the 1911 Monarch Society, a non-profit that is directed by all four Roatry Clubs in Medicine Hat. The group plans to restore one of the country's oldest standing movie theatres and open its doors to the public once again next year. NEWS PHOTO BRENDAN MILLER

By Samantha Johnson
Southern Alberta Newspapers
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The three scheduled dates for the premiere of Your Cinema Needs You, a documentary about the history of the Monarch Theatre, sold out within one week of tickets going on sale. Opening night tickets were gone within 72 hours, says creator of the film Luke Fandrich, and three encore dates for Jan. 4, 5 and 6 were added with ticket sales that started Dec. 21.

“It will be the last screenings that will happen before the Monarch goes dark again because they’ve got renovations planned and we don’t know when it might be opened again,” stated Fandrich. “We have the last possible screenings of 2023 and the first screenings of 2024 and then we’ll see what happens.”

Production of the documentary has been ongoing for the past two years, and during that time Fandrich has been sharing his progress and receiving positive feedback the entire time.

“Internet validation and real-world validation are very different things. That first day when tickets went on sale, I think we sold one third on the Thursday,” explained Fandrich. “When everybody knew the post was going up on Facebook and the website, you could tell people were camped out waiting for tickets, that was beyond expectation. I thought people would want to see it, but the fact that people were ready and wanted to see it now was amazing.”

There were many queries about why Fandrich wasn’t holding the screening Dec. 21 when the Monarch celebrates 112 years as a theatre. However, the showing of the film was already competing with Christmas and New Year’s.

“There was a lot on the go that had to happen this month just to get ready to actually have a concession going and a projectionist in place and all these other things that needed to happen in the past month,” said Fandrich.

Tickets for the encore screenings on Jan. 4, 5 and 6 are $15 plus fees and can be purchased online at Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the documentary will start at 7 p.m.

“I am so blown away by the response, I cannot be more grateful to everyone who was not only excited but who were first in line to see this. It’s been such a long time coming and I can’t wait to see everyone there on opening night,” concluded Fandrich.

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