It’s pretty cool that a building once used for manual labour is now a place to kick back with a lawn chair and some popcorn. The Simmons Building, in the heart of the East Village, was once a part of the industry that used to thrive in downtown Calgary. The warehouse was built in 1912 to support heavy machinery to manufacture bedding – it was owned by Simmons Canada. AT the time it was built, the building wasn’t cheap. According to records, it cost $20,000, a small fortune at the time. During World War II, the warehouse was used exclusively to provide bedding for troops. When the building flooded in 1966, Simmons left the location. The warehouse remained mostly unoccupied until 2007 when the Calgary Municipal Land Use Corporation (CMLC) took over and refurbished the building.
Since then, the building has been host to a series of exciting events. Most recently, it acted as headquarters for the Sled Island festival. The building celebrated its centennial last month with the East Village Block Party, a free outdoor event that featured live music, food trucks, a special edition of Market Collective, and a skateboarding competition.
In August, the Simmons Building is set to get even more lively with Open Air August, in partnership with YYC Mobile Movie. Every Thursday evening in August, a movie will be projected on to the back of the Simmons Building with a different theme and community partnership. An hour of programming will take place before the movie.
The exact time of the movie will be subject to change based on the time of the sunset, said Clare Nolan of CMLC, but the movies should be starting around 10:30 p.m.
For the first film on August 2nd, East Village is partnering with LuLu Lemon to show The Happy Movie. There will be a yoga class before the film starts.
For more information, visit Open Air August’s Facebook event page.
Aug 2 – The Happy Movie
Aug 9 – Real Steel
Aug 16 – Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
Aug 23 – Flashdance (1983)
Aug 30 – Best in Show