City announces sale of Monarch Theatre

Medicine Hat – The City of Medicine Hat has announced that the Monarch Theatre, an integral and iconic piece of the city’s history, has a new owner. Following a request for proposal process earlier this year, The Monarch 1911 Society, a non-profit organization directed by members of the Rotary Clubs of Medicine Hat, has purchased the building.

Operating as a social enterprise with a philanthropic focus, the Society has entered into a management agreement with Plugged-In Media, a local live-video and podcast production company with deep roots in the art community. Together, they aim to distribute a portion of the annual revenues generated from theatre operations back into the community.

The theatre, which stands as the oldest still-operating movie theatre in Western Canada, has always been a cornerstone of the city’s downtown. With over a century of history under its belt, the Monarch is not just a theatre but a testament to the cultural vitality of Medicine Hat.

“I'm thrilled about the transition,” said Aaron Nelson, Manager of Cultural Experiences and Events, City of Medicine Hat. “The City initially stepped in to purchase the Monarch to provide stability. With this sale, we're confident that the new owner shares our vision for the theatre’s significance and its potential to further enliven the downtown core."

The theatre’s history of showing films, hosting live music, and holding events has made it a treasured spot for many. The recent upgrades, which include new seating, a state-of-the-art digital projection system, enhanced HVAC systems, and more, have ensured that the Monarch remains a top-tier venue. The theatre can accommodate 402 patrons and has the capability to project a diverse range of digital media.

“Drawing from the distinct expertise of each of the individuals that make up Rotary, we’re equipped with a wide range of skills to benefit the Monarch,” says Frank Devine, Monarch 1911 Society. “As active members of Rotary in our community, we’re committed to revitalizing this beautiful theatre for the residents. Our business plan is thoughtfully designed to contribute directly back to the community, and we have some exciting initiatives in the pipeline.”

The City would like to express its gratitude to the community, especially the Friends of the Monarch Society, who have played a vital role in supporting the theatre through volunteer work and fundraising over the years.

Medicine Hat residents and visitors can look forward to continued cultural experiences at the Monarch under its new ownership, ensuring that the theatre remains a vibrant and cherished part of the community for generations to come.

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