The pile of rubbish and ruble that was once Sidney’s Star Cinema invites two interpretations.
On one hand, it signals the physical, final destruction of a building that once housed an iconic business and helped to make countless memories for generations of movie goers. On the other hand, it marks the start of something new.
Sandy Oliver, owner of Sidney’s Star Cinema currently operating out of a temporary location, prefers the second reading.
“It means things are underway, ” she said. “I’m not the most sentimental person in the world, and of course, it is a good thing because it means that the next phase is beginning. It couldn’t begin until it was down. Truthfully, I am pleased things are underway.”
The thing underway is the Cameo Condo development, a mixed commercial-residential development that will eventually see the Star Cinema return to the corner of Sidney Avenue and Third Avenue, where it had screened movies for 21 years, drawing a loyal, appreciative audience deeply invested in the fortunes of the theatre and the people who ran it.
Less than two months ago, Star Cinema forever closed the doors of its old location. Two adjacent businesses had shut down much earlier and were the first to come down. Crews then turned their attention towards the Star Cinema, its letters still defiantly gracing a wall early in the week. But by Wednesday morning, demolition crews had done their grim task, leaving behind nothing more than part of the cinema’s front entrance, rubble and memories.
And for all of her enthusiasm for seeing things move forward, Oliver can also see the other side. “We know that there are people out there who have a real sentimental connection. I hate to think that they might be disappointed that I don’t feel sentimental about it.”
Oliver certainly feels good about the theatre’s temporary location at 9824 Fifth St., which opened in early January and has reminded audiences of the old location. “People are feeling at home in their new theatre, and enjoying it,” she said. “So that is what makes me happy, and I am ready to keep it going.”
The theatre plans to operate out of the temporary location for a maximum of 30 months before returning to its original location.
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