25 Years of Princess
Princess Cinemas celebrated its 25th anniversary on Saturday night with a screening of Casablanca and The Cord had the privilege of interviewing theatre owner John Tutt.
“It was really great, you only do something like that once,” said Tutt in regards to the sold-out celebration.
The screening of Michael Curtiz’s classic 1942 film was a tribute to the first movie ever shown at Princess Cinema in September of 1985.
Dedicated patrons attended the event, dressed up as various movie characters and speeches were given by Wilfrid Laurier University professors Paul Tiessen and Philippa Gates.
Princess Cinemas, which includes the Princess Twin Cinemas on King Street, and the original theatre on Princess Street plays a unique and valuable role in Waterloo.
Offering a wide range of films from documentaries and foreign films to Hollywood’s latest and most popular blockbusters, the Princess plays a large role in forming the cultural climate of Kitchener Waterloo’s society.
According to Tutt, Princess Cinemas is different from other theatres because, “Chain theatres don’t have time to get a word of mouth film established. When they have ten screens to fill, they have to be playing the top ten highest grossing films at any given time.”
Playing host to a wide demographic of patrons from the cult film fan to the aspiring intellectual, Princess has acquired a dedicated clientele, and not just through film.
Tutt is also a passionate fan of Canadian music. “I do film and the odd live concert so that the odd live concert really stands out and becomes a feature of the program,” claims Tutt, emphasizing the importance of making live concerts a focal point of his program rather than an everyday occurrence.
Princess Cinemas hosts about ten live concerts a year, presenting award winning artists like Old Man Luedecke, Harry Manx and some of the best and most innovative artists Canadian folk and roots music has to offer.
Furthermore, there is a long standing Princess Cinema award available through Laurier’s Film and English department, which is presented annually by Tutt.
The prize is awarded for academic excellence in film studies to second year students, who receive a year of free admission.
Some exciting events approaching on the Princess Cinema calendar include a screening of Apocalypse Now, and the yearly Halloween screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Also coming up is a screening of Kid Dracula in 3D, a fusion of Radiohead’s Kid A album with the classic film Nosferatu.