‘Something to remember this theatre by’: Fans of the Towne Cinema 8 collecting submissions for book

A local film collective is looking to keep the memory of a defunct downtown movie theatre alive.

Last month, the Towne Cinema 8 – located at 301 Notre Dame Avenue – went up for sale after being closed since the pandemic.

The Towne 8 was the last commercial movie theatre to operate in downtown Winnipeg. The announcement of its sale caused an outcry from the local movie-loving community.

“Our collective had quite the emotional response to the closure of this cinema and we also noticed that many folks did, as it was one of the more accessible theatres remaining in Winnipeg,” said Meganelizabeth Diamond, director of the Winnipeg Underground Film Festival (WUFF).

“It was a place you could go and see a movie for five dollars,” she said.

Diamond is one of the organizers of the “Towne 8 Project,” which seeks to collect media, memories, and stories about the nearly 42-year-old theatre. “We are accepting submissions with a rolling deadline in response to the closure of our beloved downtown cinema,” Diamond said.

Submissions can include photos and video of the theatre, as well as essays, collages, paintings, and other tributes.

Diamond said they have been receiving a lot of written submissions so far. “Folks just remembering some of their favourite films, or some of the funnier instances they’ve had at the theatre.”

She said all submissions will be collected into a book about the Towne 8 to be released next year.

They also hope to hold a film screening at the book launch.

“We just really wanted to harness that energy and have something to remember this theatre by,” said Diamond.

Submissions to the Towne 9 Project can be made at the WUFF website.

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