March 03, 2016 - 4:30 PM
LANDMARK CINEMAS PONDERING EVENT TO MARK THEATRE'S CLOSING
KELOWNA - Closing of Kelowna’s downtown Paramount Theatre has generated a surprising amount of interest, its operator says, and plans are to mark its passing.
Landmark Cinemas chief operating officer Bill Walker has been innundated by media and other calls since news broke of the theater’s pending closure.
“We knew the timeline but it came out in an uncontrolled manner,” Walker says. "I managed to give notice to some of our staff before it became public so it worked out OK.”
Walker says interest centres around the locally famous Paramount sign and what might happen to it when the theatre closes, likely within 30 to 60 days.
“Everyone’s been asking about the sign," he says.
He confirmed landlord Ronmor Developments of Calgary has plans to open a restaurant on the site but could offer no further details or guarantees of what might happen to the vintage neon sign that dominates that corner of downtown Kelowna.
“It’s their building, it’s up to them,” Walker adds.
Landmark is not leaving the Central Okanagan — it still has the Grand 10 and Xtreme 8 cineplexes — just the downtown core, Walker says, where parking restrictions make it harder to attract customers in an already competitive theatre market.
“It was a bit redundant as a location,” Walkers says.
Ronmor Developments has Paramount Court, as they call it, advertised for lease on the company website.
The 14,000 square foot site is billed as having a superb location in the waterfront tourist area near Okanagan Lake on Kelowna’s original main street, with an availability of Jan. 2, 2017.
Walker says plans are shaping up to mark the closing with some kind of special promotional event.
“We’ve did something similar in Abbottsford when we closed the theatre,” he says.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016