Group pushes for former Oxford Theatre to become arts and cultural hub
The Oxford Theatre’s legions of fans are hoping the old movie house will be reborn, this time as an arts and cultural hub.
It’s been one month since the beloved Oxford Theatre shut its doors for good. But over that time, the Save the Oxford Group has been lobbying the new owners to allow an arts and culture scene to continue.
“I've been reaching out to people within my own social media reach – local musicians, people who have connections to different festivals – and they've all been really receptive to, and would really like to be able to use this as a space,” says Emily Vaudevill of the Save the Oxford Group.
Developer Norman Nahas says he's "very open to the idea," but needs the building to turn some sort of profit. That could mean making the upper level residential and the lower level a community hub.
“When I ask people, ‘When was the last time you were there? What was the last thing you saw?’ Often, it was a number of years ago,” says Halifax councillor Shawn Cleary.
Cleary says that's what made the Oxford no longer viable for Cineplex. He says whatever it becomes, people need to support it.
“If this is going to be a really active, important anchor in our community, then we have to go there,” Cleary says. “That's why it's got to be something that the community's engaged in. The residents who live around here, those in Halifax and also the arts and culture community, if that's what we're going with.”
Nahas says there are still many different things he's considering for the building, but he remains open to working with people on the Oxford's future.
He also said Cineplex is still removing its property from the site.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Brown.