Kevin Larson, owner of the Hope Cinema, looks on as Joey Polishak cuts the cake for the 75th birthday of the long-running establishment. A large crowd gathered for a viewing of Meet Me in St. Louis, starring Judy Garland. The cinema opened in 1944, the same year the film was in theatres. The event was hosted by the Hope Film Club, which holds monthly events for its members. For more on this event, visit (Jessica Peters/ Hope Standard)

Hope Cinema celebrates 75 years with Judy Garland

Theatre opened in a post-war theatre boom in 1944

The Hope Cinema filled up nicely for its 75th birthday celebration on Thursday, Dec. 19.

The party was hosted by the Hope Film Club, who brought in two beautiful, theatre-inspired cakes to serve to all their guests in the comfort of their seats. They played the 1944 film Meet Me in St. Louis, starring Judy Garland. They chose the film because of its Christmas theme, and the correlation to the year the Hope Cinema opened.

The Cinema opened in a post-war theatre boom that took over North America. While it’s had some brief closures and struggles, it’s managed to be a mainstay in the local entertainment scene.

Prior to showing the film, film club coordinator Jonathon Polishak spoke at length about Garland and her life, the significance of the film in Hollywood, and plenty of behind-the-scenes history that went into it.

The Hope Film Club shows films monthly at the Hope Cinema, with the next show being Little Big Man with Dustin Hoffman.

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Hope Cinema owner Kevin Larson lights the candles on the birthday cake. (Jessica Peters/ Hope Standard)

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