Editors note: The Pioneer will not be running a news story on the closing of the Toby Theatre at this time. After serving the valley for almost 43 years, the owners have requested time to mourn the loss of their beloved Toby. The following statement is their message to the community.
After operating for more than half a century, Toby Theatre closed its doors for the final time on Saturday, September 6th, 2014. For more than 62 years, it provided 35mm movie entertainment to Invermere and the surrounding communities, which makes it one of the oldest businesses in the area.
Since November 1971, nearly 43 years ago, the single screen theatre has been owned and operated by Ron and Elizabeth Peters. Countless times over the years, moviegoers have remarked what a wonderful experience it was, to view a film in a unique and welcoming atmosphere with popcorn that tastes as wonderful as it smells.
Dont ask them for the recipe though, because thats a family secret. For more than four decades, the couple has dedicated themselves to creating a wonderful experience for their customers and providing family entertainment.
Recently, Ron and Elizabeth were advised by their film distributor in Calgary (who serves all of Alberta, half of B.C. and half of Saskatchewan) that of all the small-town theatres they have provided 35mm films to over the years, Toby Theatre was the last one remaining.
For decades, model airplanes and helicopters have decorated the ceiling of the auditorium, and it seems only fitting that the final film to show on the amazing Toby Theatres silver screen was Disneys Planes: Fire & Rescue.
The film was enjoyed by all who attended and, as usual, the customers were thanked for their support as they exited the theatre after the movie ended.
There was no celebration on the last day, as everyone, Ron and Elizabeth included, hoped and believed that somehow, some way, the Toby could continue.
Ron and Elizabeth Peters would like to take this opportunity to express their sincere appreciation for all the support from local moviegoers and visitors from Calgary and around the world without whom Toby Theatre would not have survived these many years.
The Peters Family
Toby Theatre (1971-2014)