FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Lido and owner Brian Kirschner celebrated a huge milestone on April 1st.

“Fifteen years ago, this fool bought a theatre,” Kirschner joked.

It was the fall of 2006 when he first started looking at buying the theatre that had been closed for five years prior after Landmark’s theatre moved to Totem Mall.

An event at the North Peace Cultural Centre was crucial for the legacy of the theatre under Kirschner’s ownership. At the event, Kirschner saw that people wanted to stand up but had nowhere to go, and he wanted a place somewhere between “a soft seat theatre to a bar.”

He says he thought of The Lido, just sitting in the middle of the town, and from there, the renovations started.

Another idea for the theatre hit Kirschner during a vacation in Mexico when he should have probably been enjoying himself instead of thinking about work.

He decided to take out all the side seats and install tiered boxes with tables and chairs.

After that, he noticed that nobody wanted to sit in the remaining chairs, so he kept adding decks with tables and chairs on them, replacing the theatre seating.

Over the past year, Kirschner has also been building a lounge area on the secondary roof of the building.

It all started with a “tiny little rabbit hole” leading out to the roof, which he eventually bigger and put a door on it for access to the roof.

He says he then started realizing that entertainers would go up there to smoke and take their pictures beside the iconic sign.

He’s looking for input on the Luna Lounge from residents until April 28th, before he sends the application to the province for a permanent patio license.

Looking back on acts that have entered The Lido doors, Kirschner says his favourite event was the Kentucky Headhunters.

“They’re way too expensive and way too big to be playing The Lido. But what happened is we just got ahold of them knowing that they were in the area, I think they were at Bud Country in Grande Prairie, and we just phoned, and they said: yeah, sure. How about if we play there Tuesday night? Sure.”

He went on to say how awesome they were to work with, adding, “Brett Kissel would be a really close second,” mentioning the energy in the room.

This year, he says many events are already planned, mentioning he has half a dozen Christmas parties already booked.

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Adam Reaburn is the owner of Moose FM and Adam has been working in broadcasting for over 20 years. Adam and his wife Tammy have lived in Fort St. John for over 18 years.