On May 30, 2017 the Dundas Valley Sunrise Rotary Club was joined by distinguished Dundas citizens Bob Rockford and Fred Fuchs. Bob and Fred are principals in the non-profit Westdale Cinema Group. Their group was put together to save the Westdale Theatre from being torn down.
One questioner asked “would the façade be maintained?” to which Fred replied “which one?”. This opened a really interesting discussion about the changes the theatre has already seen over the years. In this article: http://www.thespec.com/opinion-story/7172976-dreschel-hamilton-embraces-urban-barn-raising-for-westdale-theatre-renos/ you will see a picture at the top showing the original façade from about 1937. Quite a bit different than today!
Fred and Bob noted that Westdale was one of Canada’s first planned communities. It was built with streets like spokes on a wheel and at the hub was the theatre. Over time the theatre has deteriorated though and was about to be sold. The Westdale Cinema Group came together to restore the theatre and restore it to its original lustre. It will be reduced in size to 400 seats and will become the new home of the Art Gallery of Hamilton’s film festival. The theatre will also be used for musical events and speakers.
The sale was to close on June 1st and the group has applied for charitable status. Renovations will take roughly 9 months to complete. An Open House and party will take place on June 25th where members can learn more about the plans. A Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=westdale%20cinema%20group has already attracted more than 1800 members.