Cinecenta’s $20 000 renovations to begin over December break

Movie-goers can expect fresh paint, repaired seats in the new year, with more updates anticipated in the near future

Photo by Belle White, Photo Editor.

Cinecenta, UVic’s student-run campus movie theatre, will undergo $20 000 worth of renovations, beginning with updates to its walls, carpet, seats, and stage over the winter break. An additional $10 000 is anticipated to update the theatre’s curtain and pulley system later in 2019.

Most of the theatre’s current infrastructure is several decades old: the seats were installed in 1997; the carpet, screen, and green acoustic paneling are from 1994; and the curtains date back to 1975.

“The inside of the theatre is looking dated and worn,” read a statement distributed at the Nov. 5 UVSS Board of Directors meeting, where the funding for the first phase of renovations was approved. “The carpet in particular has stains that we have tried to remove countless times and overall has been long due for replacement.”

In addition to new carpeting for the front hall, theatre, and stage, movie-goers can expect fresh paint in the front vestibule, new moulding around the stage, new door stops, and repaired seats.

“The renovations will likely increase the overall volume of customers visiting Cinecenta.”

The timeline for the curtain and pulley system replacement has yet to be announced, but the finances for that aspect of the renovation will still need to be approved by the UVSS Board of Directors.

The extent of these repairs were determined based off of feedback from customers, staff, and management of Cinecenta, although it’s something the UVSS has been planning for a while.

“These improvements have been a part of our Strategic Plan and Cinecenta Business Plan long-term goals for quite some time,” said Curtis Whittla, Director of Finance and Operations for the UVSS.

“The renovations will likely increase the overall volume of customers visiting Cinecenta, either for movies or catered events, leading to higher revenue and more money to put back into UVSS campaigns, services, and events as part of our non-profit social enterprise model.”

Don’t expect the arrival of recliner chairs anytime soon, as has been the case for many movie theatres around town.

Lisa Sheppard, manager of Cinecenta, stated that the need for renovations was evident from the signs of wear and age on the carpet and curtains.

A majority of the chairs have stood the test of time and only need minor repairs, Whittla said — so don’t expect the arrival of recliner chairs anytime soon, as has been the case for many movie theatres around town. The possibility is not completely out of the question, though, and Whittla said this could be something for future boards to look at.

Whittla speculated that after the renovations are completed, Cinecenta could draw in more event bookings or even be used as a classroom during the day.

“[Cinecenta] will be a more welcoming space which we hope will result in more people frequenting the theatre,” said Whittla. “The renovations will allow students and community members to have a better experience when going to Cinecenta and make the space more inviting to customers.”

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