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Forest's Amazing Kineto Theatre

© by Mike Keenan

Kineto Theatre, photo by Mike Keenan

Kineto Theatre, photo by Mike Keenan

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, The Essentials, 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, Rob Ford.

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, Mike Harris.

Kiwanis Club Public Relations Chair Murray Finch traces the history of Kineto on their website from the beginning in 1905, courtesy of the Rumford family to the late 1939s which featured Charlie Chaplan, Fatty Arbuckle, until even later with John Wayne and Pearl White.

During the 1940s silent movies began to be phased out and replaced with sound with Gene Autry, 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.

Forest Shop, (2 Broadway) photo by Mike Keenan  King Street Architecture, photo by Mike Keenan  King Street, photo by Mike Keenan  Rumford Plaque, photo by Mike Keenan  The Station Library, photo by Mike Keenan  The Station Library, photo by Mike Keenan   The Station Library, photo by Mike Keenan

Original Video Equipment Of Kineto Theatre

Original Video Equipment Of Kineto Theatre

Besides writing for the five Niagara Postmedia newspapers, Mike has been published in every major newspaper across Canada including the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, and Toronto Sun. He has been published in National Geographic Traveler, Buffalo Spree, Stitches, West of the City, Seniors Review and Hamilton-Burlington's View Magazine. With hundreds of reviews, photos and helpful votes, he has earned Trip Advisor's "Top Contributor Badge" and is considered an "Expert" in both Hotels and Restaurant reviews. Mike posts photos to Pinterest where he has a following of four thousand viewers.

Photo Credits
Mike Keenan

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If you go
Forest Film Festival: http://www.forestfestivals.ca
Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forest,_Ontario
Places of worship: http://www.lambtonshores.ca/en/living-here/places-of-worship.asp
Trip Advisor: https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Tourism-g609116-Forest_Lambton_Shores_Ontario-Vacations.html

Forest, Ont Weather

Travel Aid
Airlines (Wikipedia): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_airlines
Currency conversion: http://www.xe.com/ucc/
Distance calculator: http://www.indo.com/distance/
Embassies/Consulates (Embassy World): http://www.embassyworld.com/
Health precautions (WHO): http://www.who.int/ith/en/
Maps (Google interactive map): http://maps.google.com/
Maps (Mapquest) U.S. & Canada: http://www.mapquest.com/maps/main.adp
Maps (Mapquest) World: http://www.mapquest.com/maps/main.adp?country=GB
Media Guide (local newspapers with current listings): http://www.abyznews...
Temperature (Temperature World): http://www.temperatureworld.com/
Time zone converter: http://www.timezoneconverter.com/
Forest is a community located near Sarnia, Ontario in Canada. It is very close to the shore of Lake Huron and is part of the municipality of Lambton Shores and the county of Lambton.

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