Nechako Theatre

193 Nechako Centre,
Kitimat, BC V8C 1M8

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50sSNIPES on November 6, 2022 at 11:34 pm

Opening on October 24, 1956, the Nechako Theatre is truly its first “theater-type” of movie theater in the city, however it did have a movie theater at the recreation hall beforehand.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 9, 2021 at 3:53 am

An article about the retirement of long-time theater operator R.C. “Cece” Steele in Boxoffice of March 2, 1970, says that he opened the Nechako Theatre with partner Harry Howard. The article doesn’t give the date, but a finding aid to resources in the Kitimat Museum and Archives lists a photo of construction underway on the house, dated October 26, 1955. Unfortunately, none of the 19 photos of the theater in the archives are available online.

Kitimat is a planned community developed by ALCAN (Aluminum Company of Canada) beginning in 1953. It is home to a major aluminum smelting plant, a major hydroelectric project, and a port handling liquified natural gas, among other, smaller industrial facilities. The town reached a peak population of over 11,000 in the 1990s, but has since declined to less than 9,000.

With a master plan by the noted American urban planner Clarence Stein, Kitimat features a main commercial center, but for some reason the theater ended up being built in Nechako Centre, a small shopping plaza about a mile away. While many of the commercial and public buildings in Kitimat were designed by the Vancouver modernist firm Semmens & Simpson, I haven’t been able to confirm that the Nechako Theatre was one of them.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 2, 2012 at 3:51 am

An item on this web page says that the first movie shown at the Nechako Theatre was The Eddy Duchin Story. The movie was released in the summer of 1956.