South Surrey movie theatre gets an encore

SOUTH SURREY – Theatre-goers can once again catch a flick at the reopened Rialto Twin Theatre. The South Surrey landmark, previously owned by Criterion Entertainment, is the last 35mm film theatre in British Columbia. It shut its doors in April of this year citing a “shrinking demand for 35mm prints.”

Rahim Manji, who owns the Hollywood 3 Cinemas in Newton and also ran Burnaby’s Dolphin Theatre Cinemas until its recent May closure, decided to bring the indie theatre back to life, and said he’s had hundreds of visitors since they turned the lights back on at the 152nd Street venue on Oct. 31.

“I found out that if it wasn’t going to be done, it was going to be demolished, and it was time for someone to step up,” Manji told the Now.

The independent-theatre mogul said he didn’t want to see the theatre stamped out by development, nor have citizens go elsewhere for entertainment.

“We tried to take that leap of faith,” he said.

Manji also acquired South Surrey’s Caprice Theatre in the same week.

As for keeping the 35mm flicks alive, well, that will soon be coming to an end. “Thirty-five (millimetre) is a thing of the past now,” Manji said, noting that one of the two screens has already been converted to digital. The Caprice screens have also gone digital, and both theatres have new sound systems.

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