Cobourg’s Entertainment Scene – 2020

There are many events in Cobourg that could be described as entertainment – from stage shows to movies to speakers to “parties”. Most are produced by not-for-profit volunteer organizations but a few are promotional events for bars, restaurants etc and one (Rainbow Theatre) is commercial.  Cobourg has only three venues that are primarily for entertainment: The Concert Hall at Victoria Hall, the Cobourg Loft and of course the Rainbow.  The Park Theatre is still derelict with nothing happening to restore it – at the rate it’s going, it will likely get demolished by neglect.  It’s hard to see how a large theatre like the Park would be viable given the apparently thriving Capitol just down the road.  However, there could be room for another Loft.

With the decline of local newspapers – there’s only one weekly and no daily – venues struggle to get the word out.  There are several online calendars (see list below) but the single most successful way to let patrons know “what’s on” is via mailing lists.  Mailing lists are available for Ken Prue’s Loft, the Capitol Theatre, the Northumberland Learning Connection, Northumberland Film Sundays, Vintage Film Festival, the Concert Hall and possibly others although I am not aware of others.  In my opinion/experience, mailing lists are the best way to get the word out in this Internet age.

Over the past year or so, Cobourg has added shows at the Concert Hall and made an effort to promote them using a new web site called “Experience Cobourg“.  They do have a mailing list although it’s not often used – maybe that’s good since too many emails can be overwhelming.  They also try to package their events with dining at the Woodlawn and of course, the web site is intended to attract Tourism so is not just about the Concert Hall.

During the Cultural Plan public sessions, several people made a plea for a centralized and possibly Town operated Entertainment Calendar but this has not happened.  There is a Town operated Calendar but it only lists events that can be booked via the Box Office. This does include some events in other venues such as the Loft and Trinity Church but by no means does it include all Cobourg’s Entertainment events. The closest calendar available to what was asked for is the Cobourg Calendar but that is missing some events.  Perhaps a single calendar with 100% of events is not feasible and would probably require a half-time employee to keep it updated.  It’s unlikely that enough people in Cobourg would pay a subscription for such a calendar to make it viable so a commercial venture is unlikely.

Another venue is Venture 13; they provide educational events but few if any purely entertaining events – although they do have a calendar.

Below are links to mailing lists and entertainment calendars but note that many include Northumberland events that are outside Cobourg.

Mailing Lists for Entertainment

Events Calendars

* Events are submitted by the public

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Deborah O'Connor
4 years ago

The Park theatre is a beloved Cobourg landmark, many longtime residents will fight any efforts to destroy it. Wish they would re-direct attention now to mounting a comeback. I blame the stupid Mall. We’d still have a thriving downtown without it. Another battle lost, eh Keith?

Reply to  Deborah O'Connor
4 years ago

It didn’t survive 10 or 15 yrs ago in one of its many come backs what makes you think it can happen now . One of the other theaters would probably close for sure if it did .
There is not enough reliable business in this town to support another one .
And where will everyone park . At least the theater in Port Hope and the Mall
have large spacious well maintained parking lots in very thats Very close
proximity and your not walking blocks in the cold, snow, or rain in your best theater attire.

Reply to  Deborah O'Connor
4 years ago

I agree with you Deb. Park is not taken seriously except in the claws of a salesman. Instead we have outdoors old pianos. The community center is a bigger mistake. I grew up near a finishing school and a cultural center. Opened afternoon and evening 7 days a week offering at reasonably price : ballet jazz, cooking sessions, arts plastiques, film, public speaking, calligraphy, writing workshops, crosswords clubs, publishing, ballet, art of book binding, clay, glass blowing, stain glass, costume making, jewelry making, red cross training, florist workshops, the art of massage, soap making, hand &feet care to learn, language skills, puppet making and its history, painting on fabric, paper and China, carving, burning wood, crystal and stone gemology skills, fabric dying, community dancing, line dancing, falconry, ballroom dancing, flag making and heraldry, fencing, apothecary skills, kyte making, rice paper art, now we have virtual art museum on walls, floors and ceiling with music …etc… with a great cafeteria and lounge, a super meeting place ! It was fun! We can open up new programs for a new life, from our library. Cobourg nearly had, one summer, a theater on a floating wharf for the Greek tragedies! This would have been fun ! not only for the boaters! I also suggested a little schooling for children and others to read marine maps from the library, free of charge, like in the Camden Maine library. We should take advantage of our beach town and our Lake. Everyone here should have a boat ride and learn safety, free as a bonus. The view is spectacular from the lake and therapeutic, this shouldn’t be for the “new” west collegiate only. 🎎

Small Town Lover
4 years ago

Again, useful information from you John. Thank you for taking the time to help us fill our calendar. I don’t know how many times we have said “If we had known about that we would have gone!”