Do you need a break from reality? Get your popcorn and settle into Virden’s Derrick Theatre to enjoy the all-engulfing sights and sounds of super animation in ‘Redshore City'. This may be the last hurrah for the Derrick.
Virden’s theatre has served up big screen entertainment for over 30 years, however, the community is in danger of losing their theatre at 283 Nelson St. W.
Randy Slater, owner and operator for over three decades, has had his theatre up for sale for some time, but it seems no one is buying a theatre these days. In 2020, the worst of news hit the movie theatre industry.
The Derrick’s electronic sign said CLOSED when COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. Theatres everywhere had to close their doors in 2020 and for much of 2021.
Slater doesn’t want to see the theatre close but says he’s ready for a change.
Neither do its patrons, as Facebook posts over the possible closure reveal: “So sad! We try our best to support it for any movie that suits our age group.” And another, “This is so sad. All the wonderful memories we all had… I can remember when I was younger and my friends and I would go to the movies. We would try and sneak up to the balcony without paying lol. It cost us 10c each… That was in the ‘60s."
There’s been a lot of water under the bridge since then, but the theatre building has been kept up – it’s in turn-key shape. In an interview in mid-December, Slater said he’s had some ideas to keep the big screen alive in Virden, but nothing has been confirmed.
Slater also said then that the theatre would open for matinees on Jan. 29 and 30. Since restrictions eased to allow vaccinated people to enjoy normal public activities, Slater plans to show Sing 2. It was originally scheduled to open for Christmas of 2020. Suffering several delays, the show first opened in the Christmas season of 2021.