Westdale Theatre 1014 King St. West

Located in the heart of Westdale Village, the Westdale Theatre (for the sake of using British slang here, I shall be referring to the theatre as the cinema, except when I am talking about the actual name of the theatre. Let’s see how I do, shall we?) offers filmgoers the opportunity to experience both blockbuster hits and limited releases in the comfort of a smaller, intimate setting which some may consider an escape from the bigger, bustling cinemas. Kristin and I decided to check out The Tree of Life, a film we’d seen previews for and had both been wanting to see since it’d been released.

We first ventured over to Grapes and Hops which we had spotted during our Westdale Village tour stop. Unfortunately they were closed, but a return visit is most definitely in order. Tucked away in the village, Kristin and I were taken with the lush garden and the quaint cottage-like setting. It’s also the kind of place where the four of us would definitely have fun and be silly. And how neat would it be to try and create our own wine?? Perfect for summer.

We headed back to the box office and purchased our tickets. With time to kill, another one of those impromptu photoshoots took place where we attempted to pose all treelike which resulted in hilarity, especially when I realized that I could hone my yoga skills and break out into the yoga tree pose. I’d say we were quite successful posing as trees. After grabbing some refreshments we headed into the cinema. We’d both been to this particular theatre before, a while back though. Sidenote: Okay, theatre sounds cool too, especially if said with an accent and a certain air, like theaaaaaaatre. The Westdale Theatre maintains the classic elements of a cinema, from the box office booth to the marquee lights to the sign and even the concession stand board and popcorn bags! Loved all of the décor. It almost transports you back to the time when cinemas were first invented and watching moving pictures with an audience was a novelty.

I am not going to attempt to write a review of this film because I am no film critic. What I will say though is that if you do choose to see this film, you have to go into it with a very open mind. It is not your typical, straightforward film, it does not have a set course of events. That’s the beauty of those atypical genres of film, I reckon. I don’t know much about art house films let alone the art house genre, and Kristin and I were discussing if we’d seen any films which would be considered art house. I must note that there was a disclaimer posted outside making its patrons aware that the film was a ‘uniquely visionary and deeply philosophical film.’ This quote set the tone for the film, in my opinion: The nuns taught us there were two ways through life – the way of nature and the way of grace. You have to choose which one you’ll follow.

The cinematography was just lush. The shots of the various landscapes—the desert, the ocean—there was a lot of symbolism surrounding life, how we all connect to nature through different mediums. The elements of earth, wind, fire, water were all represented in some shape or form and religious undertones alluded to by the narration of various Biblical passages.

On our way out, we spotted some velvet curtains and a comfy couch with old movie posters as a backdrop and couldn’t resist another photoshoot. As we enjoyed the cool summer evening outside, the nearly full moon wasn’t the only thing lighting up the village. I had spotted several ‘W’s’ lit up and realized that yes, the W in fact stood for Westdale! Kristin and I tried our hand at forming the signature W which, let me tell you, was no easy task, but I think we managed quite well.

So for those who want a change from the cineplex and are in the mood for watching something out of the ordinary, Westdale Theatre is the place to go.

xoxo Avishka

Kristin Archer is the creator of I Heart Hamilton (www.ihearthamilton.ca), where she has blogged about experiences around her hometown since 2011, growing a social media presence along the way. Encouraging locals to “be a tourist in your own city,” she promotes arts and culture across her various social media platforms, blog, and weekly radio show on 93.3 CFMU.

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