Getting to Powell River, a small town in British Columbia along its Sunshine Coast, includes a complicated combination of cars and ferries. For the 13,000 people who do live there, entertainment options are limited. This makes its last remaining theater all the more important.
The Patricia first opened its doors in 1913. Named after the granddaughter of Queen Victoria, it was the mill town's first theater, showing not only silent films but also vaudeville acts, concerts and boxing matches. The original wood structure was replaced by a brick and stucco structure in 1928 so that spectators would no longer have to worry about high winds or flying bats.
The Patricia outlived the competition that followed, including two drive-in theaters and two full sized 35mm projection theaters. But even as the only theater in town, it deteriorated and nearly closed until Ann Nelson and her son, Brian bought it in 2002. They've slowly restored it since then, which is great for locals. The next closest place to catch a film is an hour ferry ride away.
Compelled by the theater's story, Reuters photographer Andy Clark recently made the trip to Powell River to see the Patricia in its restored glory, an establishment that has entertained locals in a variety of ways for a century now: