Monday, November 9, 2009

The Astro Theatre

Does anyone else remember their first movie theatre experience?

I do. Milton had this tiny little 3 screen theatre right beside Highway 25 and the 401. I saw Twister and was afraid of rain for a month, I had my first boy-girl date there, and I remember hating the rebellious teenager who yelled out the surprise ending to Scream 2 as he exited the 7pm show (when I was standing in line for the 9:15)just to peeve everyone off. It had Character. I didn't realise how AMC/SILVERCITY I was until we started frequenting The Astro Theatre here in Iqaluit. It's so small, so unique, so privately run and owned that we can't help but love it. Even my favourite theatre from Toronto, The Varsity, is a bit "corporate". The Astro is 100% independent. As we left the theatre last week, we even saw the actual reel's in their hard cases just shipped up and sitting by the door. We thought "how unique?". It went from Universal Studios (as read the shipping address) right to Iqaluit. Amazing. The cases looked old and rusted but, it had the same character beauty as the theatre did.

Oddly enough, it's actually cheaper to go to the Astro than any movie theatre we've been to in the past 4 years. So, if you're reading this and your fever is breaking due to all our writings about prices, here's your breath of fresh air. MOVIES!

The Astro changes their line-up every week. Movies that don't do well, don't stay. Movies that do, do. "The Informant" lasted 2 days . . . "Jennifers Body": 4 days (much due to Townie Bastard's crushing review!) but G.I. Joe and District 9 had good two or three week runs. The shelf life is completely dependant on how well each movie does.

Lastly, every visit, as you're leaving the theatre, someone who I can only assume is the owner always asks everyone . . .individually, how they liked the movie and follows that up with a "Have a good night". Try finding that at any theatre down south.

Oh yeah . . . and after you've spent more than 60 days in the North, you are legally allowed to refer to anywhere below Nunavut as "Down South"!


towniebastard said...

Oh for the days when a scathing review of mine could kill a movie...whenever they were.

A couple of points to add. First, movies do stay the whole week no matter how bad they are doing. I've sat in that theatre more than once and was the only person there. So you get a week, but that's it.

The Dukes of Hazard once spent four horrifying weeks here. I thought it would never leave.

Finally, if you haven't done it, treat yourself to the pleasure of calling to see what's playing and the times. It's hit and miss, but sometimes the owner just doesn't give a damn will start going off on rants and tangents about the movies he's brought in. I think he once said you would have to be an idiot to see this movie, but here it was anyway.

He's a great guy. Oh, and you forgot his dog who often hangs out in the theatre.

Jordan~Stephanie said...

Townie . . . I said it before we met and I'll say it again. . .


We love your life!

Anonymous said...

There was another time the Theater owner expressed his distaste for the B@!#$%@s that broke in and destroyed several thousand dollars worth of his equipment. The language was quite colourful.
Oh, and another time someone left their gym bag so he started listing the items he had found in the bag, smelly socks and all.
Nice man. Cute dog.

indigo said...

Byran's letters to the editor are just about as colouful as his messages on the phone line. Take a chance to speak with him. He has been there since 1959, was once the mayor, is a gourmand and has a marvelous Iqaluit collective memory.

kels. said...

I hope you don't mind me reading your blog!

Do you remember the time we went to see Batman at the old Milton theatre? I think it was me, you, Nate and your other cousins - Adam and Kevin. A completely random memory, but your post reminded me of that.

Anonymous said...

The theatre really is a gem. I think everyone has a little anecdote to tell about it.
Mine was my final trip to Iqaluit, back in March. I had the afternoon off from my curling meetings and decided to go catch a movie. I didn't care what it was, I just wanted to see something on a screen bigger than 21 inches.
I walked in half an hour after the movie started (I misread the sign) and he let me in, free of charge.
I made sure to buy both popcorn AND pop though, so it wasn't a total loss for him :)

But it's interesting, I think I'd be more likely to shell over cash to an institution like the Astro than I am AMC. I hate feeling like I've been gouged.

Jordan~Stephanie said...


I DO remember that. I remember Adam and Kevin being lunatics after and my Dad yelling at me! ha ha


I love just how authentic and uniqely great this place is. . . everyday I find something new and equally as charming.

Jess said...

I can't believe you referenced the old Milton theatre and there was NO mention of the zebras! Sacrilegious! They were the best part! ;-)