COCHRANE— The theatres at the Cochrane Movie House were full Monday (July 19), with about 200 seniors celebrating the end of COVID-19 public health measures with a free matinee screening of the 1980s classic, On Golden Pond.
With the help of several companies and volunteers, attendees were able to come together to enjoy a feel-good afternoon after a long period of isolation.
"I'm so excited to go to the movie," said eager movie buff Arlene Hopland. "I love going to the theatre and I love Golden Pond."
Even though they have both seen the film, Hopland and her friend, Elaine Lewis, said it has been at least a year and a half since either of them has gone to the movies making the day all the more exciting.
Local philanthropist Dan Kroffat collaborated with the non-profit Communities of Alberta Networking for Seniors Association to bring the free event to seniors in Cochrane.
The free movie day was available to everyone over the age of 50, and included free popcorn and water to go with the matinee.
In addition to the movie and popcorn, sponsored by Cochrane Toyota, ticket holders were also treated to gift certificates from Home Treasures and McDonald's.
Cheryle DeMaere-Ellis, Communities of Alberta Networking for Seniors Association treasurer and manager of the southern region, said the event would not have been possible had it not been for the help of public transport.
With the Town enlisting Cochrane On-Demand Local Transit, a lot more people were able to reach the theatre who may not have been able to otherwise.
Hal Wolf, owner of the Cochrane Movie House, said the event was the perfect opportunity for them to give back and they jumped at the chance to be involved when contacted by Kroffat in the middle of the pandemic.
Although it proved difficult to plan early on due to closures and restrictions, the free senior's movie day marks itself as the Movie House's first big event since the beginning of the pandemic.
"The seniors of Cochrane are always volunteering their time and doing a lot of things to make Cochrane better," Wolf said. "This was our chance to get involved and say a big thank you to them."