Left to right, Susan Skemp, Ken Charko and James E. Taylor are making a movie about Dunbar Theatre’s history. (photo by 5U54N & J4M35 Productions)
To celebrate Dunbar Theatre’s 80th anniversary, the theatre is making a short film about its history to enter into film festivals around the world and for film and music awards in Canada. One of the goals is to raise awareness of the theatre, one of the few independent theatres still around.
“Our short film will showcase all eight decades the theatre has been playing movies for the Dunbar community. With the use of old movie clips, newsreels, actors, models, music and their resident ghost, Delores, we intend on making a very entertaining film,” said Susan Skemp (producer, writer and songwriter) in an email to the Independent.
The production team includes Skemp, Ken Charko (executive producer and owner of the Dunbar Theatre) and James E. Taylor (director, writer, editor). One of the many participants in putting together the film is Jewish community member Adam Abrams, who will voice one of the newsreels.
“I came up with the idea to make the film last December when Ken Charko and I were discussing what to do to celebrate the theatre’s 80th,” Skemp explained. She said she suggested making a movie about a movie theatre and Charko liked the idea; then Taylor joined the production team as director.
“We have assembled a wonderful group of people and I have likened us to Orson Welles and his Mercury Players group,” said Skemp.
“My idea for the script really came from the theatre and the people from the community who have passed through its doors and the films that have played on the screen. Even though the film is a history of the theatre, our goal is to make it as entertaining as possible,” she stressed. “The fact that the theatre has a ghost helps.”
The crowdfunding goal to bring the film to fruition is $20,000. Contributions to the fundraiser at fundrazr.com/campaigns/fxGG2 come with different perks for each donation level: from a DVD and an invitation to a red-carpet screening ($25), to those items plus two tickets to any film at the Dunbar ($100), to a film credit as an associate producer ($500), to listing as a producer ($2,500).