Show time!
Cineplex aims to attract Hay River movie buffs

by Nancy Gardiner
Northern News Services

HAY RIVER (Apr 21/97) - Hay River movie buffs may soon be savoring buttered popcorn and the silver screen.

The Riverview Cineplex could be open by the end of the summer, says Jack Rowe, one of four partners involved in the project.

"It's preliminary right now, but if there's no lag on equipment, we're aiming for early August, says Rowe, who's also the town's mayor.

Rowe expects to meet this week with cinema supply firms in Edmonton.

His two brothers, Owen and Greg, and brother-in-law Daniel Schaub are partners in the venture.

"Drywalling has commenced and the electrical goes in possibly next week. Materials from the cinema houses will be ordered next week," says Jack Rowe.

Work will start on sloping the floor, soundproofing, installing seats, blinds, a sound system, projection rooms, a concession stand and ticket rooms.

The development permit was approved and it's currently awaiting completion of the normal 14-day appeal process.

The theatres will be in the B&R Rowe Centre on the third floor. There will be two theatres -- one seating 128 movie-goers and the other 72, says Becky Schaub, who is helping organize the project.

Initially, it would be open Wednesday to Sunday, with two evening showings a night, she says.

Schaub says there's a demand for a cinema in town based on surveys done by core groups on the state of the community's social health.

"People want to go out and socialize, they want a place for youth to go," says Schaub.

It's still uncertain if the Riverview Cineplex will be affiliated with a larger movie chain.

"I'm looking forward to offering something to the community. We've all been born and raised here -- except my husband (Daniel), and it's a chance to give something back to the community. It shows our commitment here," she says.

"We serve quite an area. We serve as a base area for surrounding communities of Fort Simpson, Fort Smith, Fort Providence and Enterprise. They come in to buy groceries, or hockey tournaments and swim meets."

The last time Hay River had a movie theatre was in the 1970s, Schaub says.