Medicine Hat Media

The Monarch Identity Crisis?

On my way out from the last film I saw at the Monarch, I was handed a business card with the statement, “Our new website is up with showtimes”. Which I thought was weird at the time since I have already used the “new” websites for viewing showtimes… but then as I wondered, I realized that, the website had not been updated in a while. I didn’t really think about it, until I was linked to which seemed weird. I didn’t remember it being a .network domain? Wait a second, what is this? It looked like the website took a step back in web design by 8 years. What’s with nothing lining up, what’s with the color scheme, why is there a tab-style menu not being used as tab-style navigation?

I was perturbed by this a bit, so I went to the Monarch’s twitter page (which also has not been updated in awhile), but it linked to from there. Phew, the old site is actually still there. Wait a second… did I just get a new Twitter notification? @monarchmedhat is now following me. What? The Monarch is already following me… wait a second, this is a second Twitter account now, the original seemingly left behind just like the site, the original being @monarchtheatre.

When the re-brand was completed for The Monarch, I was a fan of the logo and color scheme presented on the site which showcased it in a consistent manner. It was definitely a throwback to many elements found in design in the 1950’s and even earlier which worked well with the idea/image of The Monarch. The website matched this aesthetic and as far as I know, Rapscallion Design was wholly responsible for the identity, branding, and web design. So what’s going on here exactly? I already have stated a little bit to why this is a huge step backwards for The Monarch brand, but let’s visualize it…

New site/old site

The Monarch Website Screenshots - Side by Side

I didn’t post this solely for the reason of bashing the design, but I can’t understand why this would be happening? Say there was a falling out between two parties, you would expect the one party to release the website to them if they need it updated for themselves. They could take it and host it somewhere else and update it as they see fit. At the very least, there shouldn’t be two websites for the same business operating at the same time, let alone, two domains, two Twitter accounts, and next, maybe two Facebook fan pages?

User Comments

11 Responses to “The Monarch Identity Crisis?”

  1. March 15th, 2010 at 11:04 AM

    Jeff says:

    Hypothetically, if you owned a theatre and refused to pay the designers for the work they had done for you, would you expect to get everything released to you, or would you just go ahead and find someone else to do it again?

  2. March 15th, 2010 at 11:31 AM

    Vaughn says:

    Ouch… that pretty much says it all.

  3. March 15th, 2010 at 11:35 AM

    Dusty says:

    Depressing. Just when you thought someone finally did something right …

  4. March 15th, 2010 at 11:35 AM

    Sean says:

    That’s too bad, the .ca one was really nice, but if they didn’t pay, it’s not like they really own anything. Time to send it to collections?

    Should just sue them or something for using the logo they never paid for, unless they paid for that part of it.

  5. March 15th, 2010 at 7:03 PM

    Mike says:

    I am running the new twitter and, yes, facebook group ( However, I am not running the new website (which I agree needs a facelift from it’s current mid 90’s Geocities look).

    I don’t know what happened between Rapscallion and The Monarch. I am volunteering my time because I was upset when I had found out ‘The Road’ had come and gone without my knowledge. I really wanted to see it on the big screen and never had a chance. I emailed the person in charge of The Monarch and he asked if I wanted to help out.

    I am not trying to get in between Rapscallion and The Monarch so hopefully Jeff and Amy don’t take any offense. I just want to increase the exposure of the Monarch because I think the city needs a theatre that shows the films that they do.

  6. March 15th, 2010 at 8:56 PM

    Mike says:

    From what you’re saying or not saying, I’m getting a strong indication that there was a broken contract. I’m going by what is written here.

    So, . . . should I ask? Does anyone know for a fact that there was a falling out, or are we just connecting the dots, simply with the knowledge that 2 sites exist?

    I’m assuming you know something. Yes, that is what I assume.

  7. March 15th, 2010 at 9:38 PM

    Mike says:

    I honestly don’t know what the situation was. I am totally in the dark. Like I said, I am a volunteer just running the twitter and facebook groups.

  8. March 15th, 2010 at 9:54 PM

    Justin says:

    This is very sad if what we suspect is true…however not surprising. I’ll bite my tongue on my personal opinions but I have found it very hard to squeeze money out of Medicine Hat for any creative works. Both as a photographer and musician. It’s a shame considering the talent here in this city.

  9. March 16th, 2010 at 8:16 AM

    Dusty says:

    But I thought the city loved to throw money away? Just … on useless, irrelevant stuff.

  10. March 16th, 2010 at 12:25 PM

    Jeff says:

    No offense taken Mike, they definitely need someone like you to help out!

  11. April 19th, 2010 at 10:13 AM

    Horst says:

    Downtown always, eventually goes down! First fire the manager, then have ccda board members resign, then reneg on obligations and don’t pay outstanding invoices, run the marquee in an ugly state of repair and then hammer the person who put her all into getting the place open. So sad to see her dedication slammed. Nest, expect fundraisers to carry the load. As in the past ccda members are self serving and the Monarch will soon be forgotten.

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