Kamloops Film Society will keep Paramount theatre alive - InfoNews

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Kamloops Film Society will keep Paramount theatre alive

The Kamloops Film Society has announced they will be taking over the operations of the Paramount Theatre.
April 18, 2019 - 1:13 PM

KAMLOOPS — The Kamloops Film Society's chair has announced they will be taking over operations of the Paramount Theatre effective May 1.

"This is a new era in the 45 year history of the society and an exciting challenge," Friedman said at a media event today, April 18.

Last week, Landmark Cinemas announced it would be ceasing operations of the Paramount Theatre location in downtown Kamloops on April 17. Shortly after the news broke, local property managers Kelson Group announced it purchased the iconic downtown building located at 503 Victoria Street.

Executive director of the Kamloops Film Society Dusan Magdolen said they are hoping to upgrade the theatre, but as to whether moviegoers will continue to see the Paramount Theatre sign outside the building, still remains a question.

"We are way too premature for that," he says. "I understand the iconic nature of the building but there are some things when you go in here that are older... and sometimes may add to the reason people aren't coming in."

Magdolen said it will be imperative for movie attendance to remain consistent in order to keep the theatre operating.

"We are excited and scared but we have talked for years about what we could do with this place if we had the opportunity," he said. "It may be a case of what we wanted or it may be a case of be careful what you wished for, but we are willing to give it a try."

The film society will continue to host its annual 10-day film festival in addition to hosting their film series. The society also plans to diversify the concession offerings, and engage with the community to develop a cultural hub where film, music, comedy, theatre and other art forms are presented and celebrated.

The theatre will close for a few weeks starting tonight and will reopen on a part-time basis June 1. A grand opening of the new theatre is planned for the fall.

The society signed a five-year lease agreement with Kelson Group and will pay below market rent plus operating costs. President of the Kamloops property management group Ron Fawcett and his wife Rae also said they would be making a personal donation to assist with the operating costs. The society will also have the option to purchase the property at the original price at any time within those five years or extend the agreement by an additional five years.

"We are proud to be part of the community of Kamloops," Fawcett says. 

The Kamloops Film Festival plans to renovate the Paramount Theatre after announcing they will be taking over the theatre's operations on April 18, 2019.
The Kamloops Film Festival plans to renovate the Paramount Theatre after announcing they will be taking over the theatre's operations on April 18, 2019.

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