– Susan Woodfine
Cinéma Lido in Rimouski now has English movie nights. For those who don’t know, there are screenings of movies with their original English-language soundtrack on Thursdays and Sundays. These English-language showings began in November of last year.
Cinema Lido manager Melany Charest started the series with a huge crowd pleaser: Skyfall, the latest James Bond movie. “It was so great, the screenings were full and [the audience was] about a quarter anglophone, and the rest francophone. It was so popular that we brought it back again,” says Charest. Lido had fairly good turnouts for other big-name films such as The Hobbit and Life of Pi.
English movies have been on the wish list of many Anglo-Quebeckers in the Rimouski–Metis area. “We had requests in the past but not enough to offer the movies according to company standards,” Charest says it is easier to offer English-language screenings now because of the new technology in place, “now it doesn’t cost us any more to [show original versions], and the requests have been from francophones as well anglophones.”
Overall, Charest has found the response to be positive, “We have had one or two negative comments but when I explain that the public has specifically asked for this and that we have an English community as well they usually understand; and if they don’t it’s probably because they just can’t get the film they want at that moment.”
Charest says Rimouski is full of cinephiles, “I am too, but just because I work here doesn’t always mean I can see more movies.” Charest has been working at Lido for 14 years; she loves her job because she too has evolved with the industry. Charest oversaw the cinema technology transfer, 5 screens are now equipped with state of the art technology – a hefty investment of $100 000 for each hall. The movie industry has evolved from when Charest was hired as a student at 16. And this Rimouskoise, who has a degree in communications from Université Laval, loves the challenges at Lido because she touches on marketing, advertising and human resources.
For now, Lido will stick with the Thursday and Sunday screenings, “That may change,” says Charest, “but for now we can offer at least one day during the week and the weekend. We realize we can’t please everyone.” Charest plans to step up the marketing of the English screenings with the schools and cegep.
For more information on English screenings:
92-2e Rue Ouest, Rimouski, QC G5L 8E6