Memories of the C.P. Cinema –Carleton Place Theatre

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Today I saw that the former Zion Church had been sold. It brought back memories of when I used to go to the theatre and the flea market at the old church. I talked to Jayne Henry who works at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Museum, and we reminisced about the days Bill and Terry owned the theatre. What we all remember most was their German Shepherd dog Misha who everyone had to lovingly step over to get into the movies. Do I ever wish I could have shared some of that dog’s calmness.:)

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Remember Toonie Tuesdays? Universal Studios put a stop to that. Jayne talked about the days she worked there and how Terry would come in and announce the movies beforehand to the audience. If there was popcorn left over at the end of the night everyone shared it. They sang Happy Birthday to those celebrating in the audience, or if there were just two people in the theatre those two people would sit together even if they didn’t know each other.

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I saw the film Titanic 6 times in that theatre and one of my fondest memories was seeing The Notebook. I had asked Terry many times to get the movie into town and he said he would try. He did eventually, and I remember the first night he played it– the theatre had not one empty seat. Nope, not a one– and not one seat was filled by a male. It was a sea of women in that room.

I am a chronic crier, and many mundane things make me tear up. But for some reason, I also find “anything Hallmark” to be rather addictive to my heart. Emotional crying is kind of like nature’s way of naturally regulating our moods and general health vs our modern day drug companies. I know from a personal standpoint that a good Hallmark commercial cry now-and-again is a personal form of emotional cleansing. The Notebook that night at the C. P. Theatre surpassed any Hallmark movie I had ever seen. At the end of the film there was not one dry eye in the house.

Oh to the days of a $6.00 movie!

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Before it was a theatre it was a flea market called Peddlar’s Parish and I remember going every Sunday.

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Pamphlet from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum.

I bought the picture below from Peddlar’s Parish. The Victorian era is known to some as the Occult of Death. This was an era where the loss of a loved one was sadly far too common, but was dealt with endearing rituals. The picture below is a little girl no one knows. She died when she was yet ten years old, and her communion veil and bouquet were put into a Victorian mourning box. The picture has “tear” marks down the centre and nothing will take them out. I also have a Victorian coffee table that has all-glass sides that displayed mementos from the dead. All bought from the beloved Carleton Place flea market.

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Next time I write about this church will be about the fire with lots of pictures. Who knows what is going to happen to it now? As with all old buildings, I hope it is taken care of and loved like it should be.

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Buy Linda Secaspina’s Books— Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac– Tilting the Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place and 4 others on Amazon or Amazon Canada or Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place


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About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

5 responses »

  1. I can only say that I married a very fine lady from Carleton Place and moved here 5 years ago. i love C. P. very much and I had the opportunity to see a couple of movies in this in the Basement of this Theater and loved it. i was sorry to see it close.

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  2. Bill and Terry were terrific hosts, complete originals. I have so much respect for them in their time in CP. They took so many risks with their various businesses and always thought “outside the box” Unfortunately Bill has died and Terry is working at Cora’s in Balderson. He still loves to chat about their days in CP. Stop in and say hello to him if you are in Balderson.

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  3. I was so excited when the cinemas opened…imagine I could actually walk to a movie theatre…I saw the first movie She-Devil with Meryl Streep which was awful but I didn’t care because it was a MOVIE on the big screen..also belonged to the film club later on…thanks Bill and Terry I loved having a cinema in C.P. ❤

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