Place your order now using the form below. Books are in stock at the museum, review book summaries here. Masks and t-shirts are custom orders and are normally available within one (1) week.
For local orders, you will be contacted to arrange a mutually agreeable date for pickup of your order, COVID protocols in place. If local delivery is requested due to inaccessibility, those arrangements can be made when the order is confirmed. Shipment cost for out of town orders will be calculated using the most economical shipment method when the order is placed and you will be contacted prior to the final order being processed.
The preferred method of payment is e-transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org, security question Holidays and password Mattawa.
I hope you enjoy this article on the history of the Champlain Theatre!
I chose this subject because I am very interested in the history of the film industry and, since we have our own small theatre in town, I thought that it would be interesting to go over the history of how it came to be. Also, with COVID-19 closing down everything, including all theatres, it made me realise how much times have changed and how important these theatres were, and still are, to small communities.
The History of the Champlain Theatre
The Champlain Theatre is a big source of entertainment for our small town. Whenever it’s open and has an interesting or popular movie playing, you can be sure to see lots of familiar faces gathering to watch the film. It was built by two brothers 71 years ago and this is its story.
According to various rumours, brothers Max and Lou Consky were passing through Mattawa one day and noticed how busy the town was. This sparked an idea that this town would be a great place to house a theatre. It is said that they then approached the Hydro Dam and proposed that they would build a theatre for the town of Mattawa on one condition, that the Hydro Dam would supply the concrete. It would appear that they agreed and the construction of the theatre would be completed in 1949.
Lou and Max Consky were well known for building and opening theatres in small towns across Ontario. Lou spent most of his life running the Molou Theatre in Haliburton and Max ran the Champlain Theatre in town.
While the entrance and the lobby of the theatre is made of sticks and stones, the auditorium is made of a Quonset hut. Quonset huts were created during the beginning of World War II for the U.S. Navy who required lightweight all-purpose buildings that could support the military. These huts could be shipped anywhere and could be easily and quickly assembled without skilled labor. The design of these buildings would later be used in Canada to serve the First Nation Reserves, loggers, fishers and farmers. They are typically made of curved pieces of steel that are bolted together but can also be made of tin or aluminum as well.
Various Images of the Champlain Theatre through the years
Did you know that in total the theatre houses 225 seats for its patrons?
The first film to be viewed in the Champlain Theatre was “Family Honeymoon” starring Fred MacMurray and Claudette Colbert in 1949.
During the 50s and 60s, 3 movies would be shown each week, twice a night with a matinee on Saturday afternoons. The matinee consisted of a 15-minute serial that was usually The Lone Ranger by Republic Pictures.
It is said that the place was typically packed during showings. At the time, it costed 25¢ to see the show and another 25¢ for a pop and chip. An interesting tidbit that people remember very clearly is that people used to line up for chips from Turcotte’s Chip Stand before lining up to see the show.
From 1960 to 1987, Roy and Shirley Parizeau would operate the theatre along with Conrad Belanger and Remi Gravelle who would fill in as projectionists when needed.
The RCA 35mm film projector …
In 1971, Remi would begin operating the theatre for the Consky family after Roy fell ill and he would later purchase the theatre on March 11th, 1994. During that time, he would operate his barber shop in the lobby during the day.
In 2004, Tim Smith and Michel Royer would purchase the theatre and performed its first major renovation since 1949.
In November of 2007, Denis and Claudine Janveaux would purchase the theatre and operate it under the business name “Mariette Productions”. This was a tribute to Denis mother, Mariette Janveaux.
The building has housed various events over the years such as the Cinéfest Champlain Film Festival in 2005, Not Clyde’s fashion shows, an episode of CBC’s Still Standing, local band concerts, birthday parties, etc.
Some of the CBC Still Standing episode for you to enjoy…
At the moment, the theatre is closed due to COVID-19, but there are still plenty of ways to see movies. Many people had been using Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, etc. before the pandemic hit and it seems that the usage has gone up since the lockdown had begun.
I hope you will all enjoy this video I created over the summer about the Historical Statues in Mattawa.
I chose this project because while I was talking to different people, I realized that not many people know that there are actually twenty-four (24) statues throughout the Mattawa area. I thought it would be interesting to learn more about all the characters that are represented.
Also, because of COVID-19 not many people would have been
travelling so I thought it would be neat to bring a virtual tour to them.
I learned a lot during my research about voyageurs that have passed through Mattawa but the people that I found especially interesting are the people who lived in Mattawa like Suzanne Dufond and Sister Célina Roy.
I incorporated music into the video that I think represents Mattawa well.
Let us know what you think of the video and if you would like to see more projects like this.
From November 5-11—Veterans’ Week—we honour those who have served Canada, past and present, in times of war, military conflict and peace. This year’s theme is the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.
The 2020 National Remembrance Day Ceremony in Ottawa looks a little different this year. For the first time, spectators are discouraged from attending the service and encouraged to watch from home. Tune in to pay your respects on Facebook Live beginning at 10:45 am EST. The two minutes of silence will be held at 11:00 am EST. We Will Remember Them.