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Curtain comes down on popular Picton Cinefest program after 25 years

The curtain has come down on the Cinefest program at the Regent Theatre in Picton, following 25 years of bringing not-so-mainstream movies to the big screen.

Cinefest shared the news in a notice to friends and supporters of the not-for-profit Thursday.

Though the volunteers had hoped to resume programming following hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic, “unfortunately, it looks as though that won’t happen,” states the report.

“The popularity of streaming services, cutbacks at the Film Circuit (our primary source of programming), fewer offerings for art-house cinemas, the fading role of traditional distributors, and a new management model at The Regent – all these factors have combined to make it impossible to revive the Cinefest we knew and loved.”

Over the past 25 years the volunteers presented more than 500 movies that otherwise would not have been available locally. Since 2013, County Docs also presented a selection of the best Canadian and international documentary features.

“It’s been a good run,” the notice states. “One reason for its existence was to support The Regent by renting the theatre on Monday nights. That rental income and concession proceeds provided a revenue stream for The Regent at a time when its survival was not assured. Cinefest also undertook fundraising projects for The Regent, which led to an upgrade of the sound system, assisted hearing technology, and a major contribution to the purchase of our digital projector.”

The group stared small, and stayed that way but it extends a large, generous thank-you to audiences, sponsors and the volunteers who contributed over the years.

“Together we built a unique and popular film program that enhanced life in our community.”

Filed Under: Arts & CultureNews from Everywhere Else

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  1. Susan Warrack says:

    Sad news. Although I understand why it can’t continue. I still have two of the 3 for $20 Cinefest tickets. Maybe I should frame them!

  2. Argyle says:

    To bad, many quality films were shown and enjoyed. Hard to believe the Regent Theatre would not want to continue this partnership. The community is the big loser here.

  3. Andy Bowers says:

    What a shame. Great foreign movies and award winners.

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