Posts Tagged ‘Setting the Stage for the Digital Age’

Ushering in the digital age at the Astor Theatre in Liverpool, Nova Scotia

10252058_10204022706192919_8201383117976101285_nBy Nick Moase

photo © Christopher Green 2013

Film critic and former local Richard Crouse gives a lot of credit to the Astor Theatre for developing his love of movies.

Richard Crouse, former local and film critic, is coming to Liverpool on May 24 as MC for the Astor Theatre’s celebration of its new digital projector.

“When I discovered it, I ended up spending all my time there,” he says. “It’s really the place that gave me my love of movies.”

Crouse is coming down to host the Astor Theatre’s celebration of its new digital projector, for an evening titled Setting the Stage for the Digital Age.Crouse grew up just a few minutes walk from the theatre, and has fond memories of taking in matinees, sneaking out of the house to see movies during the week and being in the theatre practically every weekend.He later moved to Toronto and started a career as a writer, at first mainly in the music scene with a little bit in the movies. Slowly the movie side of things grew, until he was spending most of his time in the theatres again.

“It’s really where I always belonged,” he says.

Moving to digital is an important step for the Astor Theatre, he says, with Hollywood rapidly going to digital distribution.

“More and more theatres who aren’t making the change are having a hard time with programming.”

It gives the Astor a solid footing for the future as well, so it will be able to show the latest movies for years to come. He also sees it as a way for the Astor to continue to be a central part of the community.

“In a lot of ways, these one screen movie theatres can be part of the heartbeat of the community,” he says.

“(The Astor) is doing such a great job that I wanted to come down there and help celebrate that.”

Before the main movie, two short films by Nova Scotian filmmakers will play. Crouse says it harkens back to the days were theatres would show a newsreel or short film before the main picture.

“I thought it would be fun to replicate that for our night, so I found two really fun short movies made by Nova Scotian directors that will play before the main feature,” he says.

One has the rather provocative title of Sex with Hot Robots, but Crouse says he doesn’t want to say much more about them to pique people’s interest.

The main movie is called The Disappeared, which was shot along the South Shore and in Halifax. Once the movie has finished, Crouse is hosting a Q&A with some of the actors from the movie. The audience will be able to ask questions as well, and Crouse will also be asking people what their first movie they saw at the theatre was or what their favourite memory is from the theatre.

As for himself, Crouse doesn’t remember the first movie he saw in the theatre, and figures he probably wasn’t even walking yet at the time. However he has many vivid memories of the theatre. There was seeing The Sting with his father, and going back several times to see the Poseidon Adventure.

Then there was a very memorable scene from a movie called The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean, starring Paul Newman.

“Maybe my strongest memory of anything on the Astor screen was a shot in that movie, where someone shoots another character, and the cameral pans down to show the scene through the hole in the guy’s chest.”

Crouse has been the film critic for CTV’s Canada AM for the past 10 years, and has hosted TV shows on Bravo and the Independent Film Channel. In addition to TV work, he hosts a radio show on News Talk 1010 and writes two weekly columns, which are syndicated across the country.

He is also the author of 10 books, mostly on film, with the latest on Elvis Costello coming out next year.

“I like to keep busy. The hub of what I do is movie and movie related, but I spin it off into different things,” he says.

On May 24, he hopes to see lots of people come out and spend the evening at the Astor Theatre to celebrate its new era.

“I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s going to be a little unexpected.”



Saturday, May 24th
Tickets $12

Over the past year, the Astor Theatre undertook a large project…convert our movie projector to a digital system so we can continue to bring movies to Liverpool. It was a large project with a large price tag but with the communities support, as well as the Province of NS and the Department of Canadian Heritage we were successful! Now it is time to throw a party…and invite everyone to attend!

On May 24th we are throwing the biggest movie party ever seen on the South Shore. Such a night requires a great host and we have one…CTV’s Richard Crouse. As the regular film critic for CTV’s Canada AM and the 24 hour news source CTV’s News Channel, Richard is well known across the country for his movie reviews. In Liverpool, he is also well known since he grew up here watching movies at the Astor. Richard is excited that we will be able to continue to present movies and wanted to celebrate with us.

We will be presenting the NS shot movie “The Disappeared”. The Disappeared is a visually stunning story set on the vast panorama of the Atlantic Ocean. The film centers on six men lost at sea in two dories. With no rescue in sight, they make the difficult decision to row for shorea journey of over two hundred miles. With scant supplies diminishing, they are tested beyond human endurance as their captain leads them through the fickle wind, rain, fog and darkness. Dwarfed in this unforgiving realm between sea and sky, they fight to hold on as their strength dwindles and their will shatters. Desperation overtakes hope as the men are swallowed by their aloneness, even as they are bound together by the wooden boats that hold them. To find their way home, they must first discover the courage and compassion it takes to live and the men they truly are. We are happy that several cast members will be in attendance and will do a Question and Answer session with Richard.

Finally, no evening is complete without a little music at the Astor so we have invited East Coast musician David Myles to bring his infectious music to the celebrations. Somewhere on the spectrum between James Taylor and Justin Timberlake, David Myles has truly forged his own path by embracing modern and vintage pop, folk and soul music. With extensive touring experience across Canada and internationally, Myles has earned a reputation as a great showman. His flawless musicianship and unforgettable stories have made David Myles a favourite with fans everywhere.

We hope you can join us for a great evening of cinema, of song, and of celebration!