Aron Theatre Co-operative
A new hope for an Ontario small town’s downtown*
Campbellford, a small town in Northumberland County, Ontario, halfway between Toronto and Ottawa, is home to the Aron Theatre. In 2009, the theatre was in trouble and the owner decided to shut the theatre down.
Fast forward 12 years. Aron Theatre is now a community co-operative and revitalized cultural hub in downtown Campbellford that has not only survived but thrived. This case study looks at the conversion of a privately owned theatre into a community-owned consumer co-operative and, in doing so, examines the manner in which a rural community in Ontario came together, via the co-operative solution, to defend its cultural heritage against much larger forces.