Stevie testing waters for Roxy return

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, October 6 2015

Stephen Berthelot brought his alter-ego out of storage last week, and Stevie B was seen in the Folkilfe Village and at the Farmers’ Market gauging what kind of support there is for a membership-supported return of The Roxy. 

To use his infamous catchphrase, Stevie B is hoping for one more time, “Gabriola will provide.”

Stevie B and Rhonda at the Farmers’ Market this past weekend. Derek Kilbourn photo.

 The Roxy shut down in July of 2012, after six years of providing a small and cherished entertainment venue in the heart of Gabriola.

At the time, closing down made sense for Stevie, and the space provided the opportunity for The GABE Shop to be opened by the Gabriola Auxiliary for Island Health Care.

But there are still many islanders who miss the place. 

The comfy couches, the iconic red velvet movie chairs, the back wall filled with Stevie’s eclectic movie collection, and the massive screen where islanders watched the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, the Vancouver Canucks Stanley Cup run, and the annual Tintin Festival.

As to why he’s looking to re-open The Roxy, Stevie says, “I want something to do, and ever since the Roxy closed, people have been pushing me to bring it back.”

A specific location has not been chosen, but Stevie is putting out the feelers as he looks for one that meets the size and price. 

In the end, he’s hoping to have something like the old Roxy, with seating for 50 to 75 people, a movie screen, and stage for live performances.

The funding for the Roxy would come from memberships, who commit to $10 a month, which will bring with it “Roxy Benefits” such as rental discounts and membership-only events. So far Stevie is just collecting names and addresses. No monies will be collected until a firm location and opening date have been determined.

Stevie was clear that he is not necessarily looking at the old Roxy space. 

“The GABE Shop has a secure lease, not to worry, it will carry on so long as they desire to be in that location.

“As for the chairs - there’s a possibility I will be able to get a good number of the old movie seats back, and will be looking for ‘comfy couches’ to pad out the remaining seats.

“Movies, music, and more. That’s what the Roxy was, and could be, if there is enough support for it now, and in to the long term.”

Stevie is aiming to have the new Roxy open for early summer 2016, if financing and a location can be put in place. “I’d rather surprise everyone by opening sooner than keep pushing it off.”

For those wanting to put their names on the commitment list, or to inquire for more information, Stevie can be emailed at theroxy@shaw.ca or watch for him in front of Folklife Village (likely with sidekick Rhonda), and at Mad Rona’s and the Old Crow over the next couple weeks.