In Praise of City Cinema

Night after night after night, while the rest of us are watching Seinfeld or helping to bathe the wee ones, or going to the beach or shovelling the snow, the indefatigable Derek Martin has been operating City Cinema in Charlottetown (conflict of interest note: I have been voluntarily maintaining the website for the cinema since 1995).

For one heady week a few years back, I filled in as projectionist for Derek, and it was only then that I truly learned what a completely exhausting business running a cinema is. From the comfort of the seats in the front of house, we see little of the lugging giant heavy film canisters to and from the bus depot, winding endless thousands of feet of film from small reels onto big reels, dealing with popcorn machines that light on fire. And so on and so on.

In a climate where many small cinemas have folded (Wormwoods in Halifax and the Broadway in Hamilton since Derek has been in business), we all owe Derek a large debt of gratitude for keeping at it night after night.