The Lakes District Film Appreciation Society (LDFAS) was looking for members to join them and help make important decisions about the film society as well as the Beacon Theatre’s future this winter earlier last week, when memberships started raining for the society.
“In the middle of our membership drive, we have 44 members and climbing! We started at six active members before the membership drive began,” wrote John Illes, volunteer with the Lakes District Film Appreciation Society, in an email to Lakes District News.
The society, in an email sent to the community members, said that they no longer had the members to even hold regular meetings and were now seeking members to join LDFAS. According to Illes, membership dwindled because of the restrictions that Covid placed on the society.
“Most membership is renewed every year in person at the AGM, at the theatre or at other public events. With our AGM being held electronically and with limited public gatherings, we were not able to “get out there” and sell our memberships,” he said.
To become a member, an individual needs to be over 18 years of age, be a B.C. resident, have an email address and pay $20 membership fee. The membership fee can be paid via an etransfer to firstname.lastname@example.org or could be dropped off in person at Process 4 Art Gallery or the Beacon Theatre.
As a member, individuals would enjoy two free features to any shows including plays, Met Operas, 3D movies, potentially worth $24.
“So membership really is a bargain and with our new ability to accept membership fees through etransfer that the Bulkley Valley Credit Union set up for us, we can now sell memberships online instead of only in person. This is a great aid for us with the Pandemic when meeting in person is sometimes difficult,” he said.
Members would also be included in the vote on whether or not the theatre would and should remain open after October, for winter however, without a quorum with sufficient members, the non-profit was unable to make any decision for now.
The Beacon Theatre has been undergoing massive facelift in the past year and has been seeking grants and funds to make the repairs possible. So far, they have raised a total of $438,048 and their goal for the project is $638,048, a substantial increase from their initial goal of $424,000. Illes wrote that during the inspection of the walls for rot and maintenance, they discovered that the walls needed to have major upgrades to meet current building requirements and so, additional support studs were added to the walls and new insulation was added replacing the old wood shavings.
”The roof rebuild project was less than initially estimated. The repairs of the roof and walls, all parts of the project except for the facade, cost $438,048. We currently estimate that the outside of the building – the siding and facade will be approximately $200,000. This amount is still unfunded and we will work at fundraising and grant writing to completely finish the project,” he said, adding that part of the reconstruction effort has been completed already and roof portion of the project is now fully funded.
Illes also said that a new roof, complete with new roof trusses would be added this year replacing the old roof. This new roof and the upgraded walls will allow the theatre to support normal snow load and hopefully keeping the theatre open during winter.
The Beacon Theatre has contracted Bulkley Valley Engineering from Smithers and Architects North from Prince George to manage the technical design and architecture that included the outside appearance of the theatre.
Recently, the Beacon Theatre was voted by the community as the Not-for-profit Service Club of the Year, as part of the Chamber of Commerce’s Business Excellence Awards.
“We hope the theatre will be open a long time to serve Lakes District residents,” concluded Illes.