A Short History of The Norm Theatre

By Natalie Chu

When the Old SUB closed for renovations in 2016, the Norm Theatre said goodbye too. It was a well-loved place on campus that held film screenings and conferences for all. The Old SUB reopened as the UBC Life Building. And, after a three and a half year hiatus the Norm Theatre is also ready to open its doors once again this Friday, November 15th with a screening of an old classic: The Big Lebowski.

Sign welcoming movie goers (AMS Archives)

AMS Welcome Nornm

Historically, the theatre was operated by UBC’s Film Society (FilmSoc), an AMS club that unites students with a passion for film and production. FilmSoc chairperson Jin Li came to UBC in 2016, just after the closure of the building “all these years, we have been working on the maintenance and upkeep of the space.”

FilmSoc was also responsible for the projection in the theatre. Dama Correch, the club’s theatre manager was a member back when the theatre ran in the Old SUB. “We have been training everyone to operate the projection booth and manage the floor when events are running. We are planning to host weekly film screenings, production workshops, and even a beer garden every third Thursday of the month.”

Normand Bouchard

Normand Bouchard

Did you know Norm is short for Normand? The official name of the theatre is The Norman Bouchard Memorial AMS Theatre. This name was chosen back in 1995 in memory of Normand Bouchard who was a longtime Filmsoc member and Executive. He died of brain cancer shortly after he finished his studies at UBC and the theatre was named after him that year.

Li and the members of the Filmsoc club are looking to build on what the Norm used to be, and increase its potential. The club hopes to make it as useful for students as possible. “The AMS is helping us create the new space of the Norm, making it a more versatile and flexible venue. We will also host shows from other campus groups, like UBC Improv, the UBC Musical Theatre Club, and the UBC Jazz Club. We aim to provide a space for arts and culture that is student-based at The Norm”.

Come and celebrate the Grand Reopening of the Norm Theatre with the AMS, FilmSoc, and UBC Improv! this Friday, November 15th. You can purchase your event tickets in advance starting at $5.00 or at the door for $10.00. For more information, check out the event page.