Star Cinema has become a long-time local celebrity to residents of Sidney, British Columbia

The beloved theatre’s significance to the town of Sidney is unparalleled. When local owner and trained projectionist, Sandy Oliver, opened the Star Cinema in 1998, local residents immediately fell in love with the little Island gem.

So, when news broke that the treasured theatre would be demolished to make way for a condo development after two decades in business, it became the talk of the town. The curtain won't close on the theatre for good, however. Cameo, a project by Island Realm Real Estate and Casman Properties, is revitalizing the theatre while also building a six-storey, 45-suite condominium building on top.

The shiny new theatre is set to open this fall. 

Although the closing of the Star Cinema’s Third Street location in 2019 was a tough pill for locals to swallow, the vision for an updated three-screen thematic experience was enough to get the Town of Sidney on board with change -- especially considering Sidney’s growing population. 

Not only will the building bring a new-age Star Cinema to Sidney, it will also help answer Vancouver Island’s increasing housing needs as the entire Island has seen an 8.2% growth since 2016. Sidney’s population in particular has grown steadily in the last decade, increasing by another 5.5% since the last Census. The condo development will house studios to three-bedroom units.

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Island Realm Real Estate has worked closely with Casman Properties in the past on various projects throughout Vancouver Island.

“Both companies understand the culture of the Island, especially its small communities, and the needs and lifestyles of Island buyers,” says Tony Zarsadias CEO & Co-founder of Island Realm Real Estate. “When we had the opportunity to help bring forth a unique project like Cameo, we were all very excited. Although Sidney is rapidly-growing, it's still inundated with history and culture. We really wanted to fuse together the old and the new in harmony by revitalizing the Star Cinema through the Cameo project. Once completed, we look forward to a new wave of Sidney residents enjoying a piece of the area’s history.”

The three-screen thematic experience soon to be offered at Star Cinema means 24 more seats than the original theatre and extra mobility options to support patrons.

“It’s important that the Star Cinema is equipped with the right infrastructure to support increased guests as we see more and more residents relocating to the Island,” says Zarsadias. “Having a bigger theatre will also give Star Cinema the opportunity to increase its revenue, ensuring that the theater can continue to welcome film-lovers for years to come.”

While the star of the show of the property at 2461 Sidney Ave will undoubtedly be the new theatre, the condo building that towers above it is a show-stopper in its own right. B.C. architecture firm Finalysin Bonet was hired to ensure that Cameo fit the heart of downtown Sidney and Pacific Northwest living, says Zarsadias. There are just two units left at the luxury development. 

The final three-bedroom luxury penthouse at Cameo is unit 602: a 2,292 sq ft. home on the sixth floor. “One of the most attractive features of this residence is its stunning panoramic views of Sidney from the sweeping private patio,” says Zarsadias. “Made with pure luxury in mind, and sparing no expense, this penthouse provides ultimate comfort with its acoustically rated construction, air conditioning, dual pane energy efficient floor-to-ceiling windows, and spacious open concept floor plan.”

Meanwhile, the final one bedroom-plus den unit at Cameo is 909 sq ft., with a patio, flex space, dining area, and closet that opens onto the bathroom. “Both final homes are designed to reflect the Island lifestyle by incorporating timeless interiors with striking West Coast design, clean lines, and tall ceilings,” says Zarsadias. 

Within the Peerage umbrella, Island Realm Real Estate is, and will remain, Vancouver Island-focused. “Our relationship with Peerage provides us access to a global real estate network, while we focus on our passion for the Island through hyper-local service, experience, and relationships,” says Zarsadias. “The town of Sidney is a small, close-knit community, and the Star Cinema and its history means a lot to these residents. What separates this project from others is that we felt very connected to it, as it embodies our goal of helping the Island grow in a way that keeps the region’s heritage at the forefront.”

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