On a recent visit, friends in Forest introduced us to the amazing Kineto Theatre on King Street. With aproximately 160 comfortable seats, it's one the oldest and longest running theatres not only in North America but the entire world!
David and Mary Overton told us that thanks to the Kineto, Forest is becoming known as Southwestern Ontario's Film and Festival Town!
Glen Starkey is Chair of the "Lambton Film and Food Festival 2016," the third such event scheduled for the weekend of May 28th, when new and exciting award-winning Canadian and International films and documentaries will be offered.
The theatre is run by the Forest Kiwanis Club, and they have made it the community hub, a cultural experience dating back to 1917, but utilizing the latest film technology. Feature films run most Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday evenings at 8:00 pm. with admission at $5.00 for regular movies and $7.00 for 3D shows.
Once literally composed of a dense forest, the town's name is appropriate. It's a municipality in Lambton county with 3,000 residents, the biggest town in Lambton Shores, (Bosanquet amalgamated with Forest in forming Lambton Shores along with the villages of Arkona, Thedford, and Grand Bend.) formerly an important lumber centre with its own train stop serviced by the Grand Trunk Railway, but now converted into a tourist attraction with lovely trails for hikes.
We enjoyed a delightful stroll along flower-festooned King Street checking out the library and Rotary Park with its impressive railroad vestiges and the water fountain that attracts playful children. Several stores enticed examination of their contents as well as their attractive architecture.
Dave and Mary advised us that the town was initially linked to a rich fruit growing operation with a canning factory and a basket factory. Notable residents include
John L. McPherson, missionary and General Secretary of the Hong Kong YMCA, brothers Dan and Thom Speck of the a cappella group,
Emily Murphy, one of the "Famous Five" who fought the "Persons Case" in the 1920s and
Robyn Doolittle, the Toronto Star journalist who penned stories concerning Toronto's infamous mayor,
The Ipperwash Inquiry held their hearings here at the community centre from 2004 to 2006 regarding the death of
Dudley George during a protest by First Nations at Ipperwash Provincial Park then under authority of the Ontario Conservative premier,
During the 1940s silent movies began to be phased out and replaced with sound with
Roy Rogers, and
Randolph Scott. The Rumfords introduced air conditioning with a block of ice and a fan blowing the cool air. Grant Rumford sold the theatre in 1977 to the Kiwanis Club of Forest for $18,000 and in 2011 the club undertook a significant fundraising campaign to replace the projection equipment for digital equipment.
The Kineto is now set up to live on for future generations to enjoy and the Kiwanis Club offsets the cost of operating the theatre through community fund raisers.
Original Video Equipment Of Kineto Theatre
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