KAWARTHA LAKES- I watched my very first movie at the Fenelon Falls Theatre as a teen. The movie was Saturday Night Fever with John Travolta and it took a lot of convincing for my mom to let me go as she thought it was a little too racy.
Times have sure changed since then in terms of the movies themselves and where and how we watch them. As bigger and more state of the art theatre’s were built in Lindsay and Peterborough, the Fenelon Falls Theatre languished. It was torn down in 2016 but the memories for so many people remain. “There are so many locals and cottagers who are like, it’s an icon, we have to save it.” said Collen Jenkinson, a member of the Fenelon Theatre Marquee Group.
The theatre has been a landmark since 1948 and the Fenelon Marquee Theatre Group has been diligently working to gather information on the restoration and future placement of the sign.
The group is made up of community members, together with Maryboro Lodge-The Fenelon Museum. “We realized that public opinion was that people wanted to keep this sign in town,” says Jenkinson.
Being nearly seventy years old, the sign needs to be re-wired, requires substantial repairs to its steel carcass and an engineered masonry base to stand on. Some funding has been secured through the Legacy Chest Fund, however, the group says more funds are required.
Jenkinson says it will cost about $20,000 just to have the marquee refurbished.
T-shirts, hoodies and coffee mugs emblazoned with the image of the Fenelon Marquee are available for sale and there will be pop-up shops throughout the summer. A pop-up will be held in the old Video image store, beside Stokes on Trent, the night of Midnight Madness.
Donations will be accepted at Maryboro Lodge-The Fenelon Museum and at Stokes on Trent.
A Facebook page has been set up to allow residents to follow the journey. Click here for more information:https://www.facebook.com/lightupthesign/