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Wolfville’s Acadia Cinema building receives provincial heritage property status

A well-loved Wolfville landmark, the Acadia Cinema building, has just received provincial heritage status.
A well-loved Wolfville landmark, the Acadia Cinema building, has just received provincial heritage status.

WOLFVILLE NS - The neon marquee on the Acadia Cinema building, a key landmark on Wolfville’s Main Street, is now protected as a provincially registered heritage property.

The Acadia Cinema Co-operative received notification recently that the property has been registered under the Provincial Heritage Property program of the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage.

The co-op, non-profit operators of the Al Whittle Theatre in the Acadia Cinema building, applied to have the theatre’s century-old significance as a cultural venue recognized both provincially and municipally.

Inclusion in the provincial program allows for conservation advice and can provide cost sharing to maintain the exterior of the building that almost stopped being a movie theatre.

“The Acadia Cinema Co-op has been financially-supported by over 730 shareholders from Nova Scotia and beyond,” noted co-op treasurer Paul Callaghan. “The commitment of these shareholders speaks to their appreciation of all the presenters who rent the theatre to make such a wide variety of cultural events available to our community.”

The venerable Acadia Cinema building was purchased in 2004 by the co-op and Just Us Coffee Roasters, who run a coffeehouse in the theatre lobby. The former movie theatre was managed by A. (Al) Ellsworth Whittle from 1953 until he retired and it closed in 2000. Owing to his long service at the theatre and his connection to generations of Acadia University students and local residents, the new owners named the theatre after Mr. Whittle.

Renovations to the theatre have been supported from the beginning by community members, who bought shares to ensure the Acadia Cinema remained open and was re-developed into a multi-use performance space.

The Al Whittle Theatre stage now hosts many independent presenters of film, theatre, music and private events.

 

The Acadia Cinema Co-operative received notification recently that the property has been registered under the Provincial Heritage Property program of the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage.

The co-op, non-profit operators of the Al Whittle Theatre in the Acadia Cinema building, applied to have the theatre’s century-old significance as a cultural venue recognized both provincially and municipally.

Inclusion in the provincial program allows for conservation advice and can provide cost sharing to maintain the exterior of the building that almost stopped being a movie theatre.

“The Acadia Cinema Co-op has been financially-supported by over 730 shareholders from Nova Scotia and beyond,” noted co-op treasurer Paul Callaghan. “The commitment of these shareholders speaks to their appreciation of all the presenters who rent the theatre to make such a wide variety of cultural events available to our community.”

The venerable Acadia Cinema building was purchased in 2004 by the co-op and Just Us Coffee Roasters, who run a coffeehouse in the theatre lobby. The former movie theatre was managed by A. (Al) Ellsworth Whittle from 1953 until he retired and it closed in 2000. Owing to his long service at the theatre and his connection to generations of Acadia University students and local residents, the new owners named the theatre after Mr. Whittle.

Renovations to the theatre have been supported from the beginning by community members, who bought shares to ensure the Acadia Cinema remained open and was re-developed into a multi-use performance space.

The Al Whittle Theatre stage now hosts many independent presenters of film, theatre, music and private events.

 

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