To say that Megan Davies is late to the save-the-Paramount Theatre bandwagon would be an understatement.
But that doesn't mean the third-year University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) student isn't going to try one last-ditch attempt to save the doomed downtown Chilliwack cinema.
A day-and-a-half after the first batch of free seats from the movie theatre are handed out the back door to those who entered a draw to receive them, Davies and some friends—UFV Students to Save the Paramount—plan to hold a "peaceful assembly" across Yale Road on an empty lot.
"What we are doing is try to make a last attempt to try to preserve the Paramount Theatre," Davies told the Times Friday.
This Sunday evening (Nov. 18) at 9 p.m., and again next Sunday (Nov. 25), the group plans to screen Charlie Chaplin's 1936 film Modern Times on the wall of a building next to the gravel parking lot across from the Paramount.
Davies says the film is "quite appropriate, as it highlights social and economic injustice."
Davies said she has not been in touch with members of the Chilliwack Paramount Society, although she did send them an email, but her idea is different. She would like the building to be a community centre of sorts for young people.
The fact that the seats are being given away doesn't affect her plan since she would want moveable furniture on the main floor, something she hopes to get donated by IKEA who she says have done similar things in England.
Davies isn't letting the fact that city council decided in August to demolish the building stop her. On Friday, she was attempting to get on the agenda of Tuesday's council meeting to talk about her plan. She also plans on showing up at the city's Official Community Plan review open house at UFV Chilliwack on Nov. 22.
"[T]he revitalizing of the structure of the Paramount can be utilized to serve much needed societal purposes in Chilliwack: a venue for local bands, film screenings, or an event centre for low-income families and youth," Davies said.
In August, city council voted six-to-one to demolish the Paramount after rejecting the proposal submitted by the Chilliwack Paramount Society.
The society's proposal was deemed to be non-conforming as there was no financial institution backing, no insurance and it asked for the building to be handed over for $1.
No date has yet been set for demolition.