Friends of the Port Theatre or Foes?

L I N K port1 I love the Port Theatre.   I fell in love the first day I saw her.    When she was listed for sale a few years ago I met the current owner who has essentially worked there his entire adult life.

I encouraged him to purchase the theatre chiefly because I couldn’t see anyone else running it at the time and he managed to negotiate the purchase of the property and in a true sense save it at the time.

A few years ago a group came to be known as Friends of the Port.   I was excited and one of the first to join as well as end up on the executive.

My concept and goal was strictly to see that the building survive as a theatre.   What I suggested to the group was than a non-profit group be created, purchase the property from the owner, and then lease the theatre back to him on very favorable terms so that he could run his business as he saw fit for as long as he chose to and that the future and renovations needed to save the building could occur.

I ended up leaving the group with another executive member as it appeared that there was a difference of direction from us and from the owner of the Port and the remaining board members.

Frankly and sadly it came down to the point that if the current owner wasn’t for whatever reason going to save the building the longer he was in place the more expensive it would be in the end to save the theatre and if the decline continued too long it might not even be possible to save her.

Today if you click the link there’s an appeal for volunteers.  Why?   What has happened to the thousands of dollars raised so far?

In today’s world too many people forget the real goal of why projects exist and why.

I hope the Port is saved before it’s too late, but it’s not going to happen unless the community gets involved.  Hopefully that can happen and the Port can be brought back to her former greatness and be a treat for not only Cornwall, but all of Eastern Ontario.  It’s potential for tourism can help generate a lot of $$ in interest in the area if handled properly.

The Port today still has a chance.  It can be brought back to life like the Imperial Theatre was in Montreal or it can go the way of the Capitol.

What do you think Cornwall?

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  1. Growing up in the 50’s as many cornwallites have I enjoyed going to the saturday afternoon movies at the Roxy now Port theatre.Many of us now retired remember the Roxy and photos are displayed currently next to the concession stand.NOW THAT YOU ARE REDOING THE OUTSIDE SIGN,WHY NOT RENAME THE THATRE TO IT’S ORIGINAL NAME TO BRING BACK SOME NOSTALGIA.ALONG WITH THAT WHY NOT BRING BACK SOME OF THE OLD CLASSICS E.G “NIAGARA” WITH MARYLN MONROE & “AFRICAN QUEEN” WITH H.BOGART ETC,ETC


  2. Author

    Hi Ray,

    I think that’s a terrific idea. An even better one would be to fix the roof and maintain the building better. What good will a nice new marquis be if the roof collapses. The Port or Roxy, is a gem that deserves to be saved.

    Hopefully it does.


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