Paramount Theatre has new outlook on operations - InfoNews

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Paramount Theatre has new outlook on operations

The Paramount Theatre will be welcoming movie lovers back this weekend.
June 14, 2019 - 6:00 AM

KAMLOOPS - The Paramount Theatre is reopening its doors this weekend with new ownership and outlook.

The theatre, which has been around since 1955 and was previously owned by Landmark Cinemas Canada, was set for closure last April. The Kelson Group, a property management group and supporters of local arts and culture, quickly bought the theatre to keep it up and running. Kamloops Film Society will be responsible for operations.

Dusan Magdolen, the new executive director of the Paramount Theatre, is eager to hit the lights.

“We wanted to put our stamp on the first weekend we were opening and really make it ours, and play films that were unlikely Landmark would’ve played if they were still running the venue,” he says.

The theatre will be showing three films that they dub the “Best of the Fest.” These three movies were highlights of the Kamloops Film Festival and will be running again both Friday and Saturday nights this weekend.

The Grizzlies, a movie about Inuit youth gaining purpose through lacrosse, won the audience choice award at the Kamloops Film Festival, among other awards in Canada.

Another film, This Mountain Life, is a film about those who venture into the rarely touched areas of B.C. vast mountain expanses. The film opened the Kamloops Film Festival and had the highest attendance.

The third film, Sink or Swim, is a foreign film that Magdolen says the whole audience was laughing along with.

“The three together exemplify the kinds of films we want to be showing. We’re going to show all kinds, but these are the kinds we’d love to share with Kamloops more in the future,” says Magdolen.

He is eager to show more Indigenous made films, movies made in B.C., and bring in some foreign and lesser-known films.

Magdolen has an extensive history in the film industry and had been working with the Kamloops Film Festival for 10 years. He was on the Kamloops Film Society board but stepped down last year to take a part-time executive director role, which has now turned into his full-time gig, along with running Project X theatre.

He is looking into new ways to run the theatre, including creating a revamped membership program and showing movies that won’t be found in many other theatres.

“Now that we're a bigger entity, were looking a doing a multitiered (membership) system, so at different levels, you’d get different things. Maybe there’s a  $100 membership level, for that you get popcorn free ten times or something like that. We're just working that out,” he says.

He hopes to have volunteers help out with general upkeep and ushering, in hopes that they can soon afford to do some renovations. Along with ticket sales and fundraising, Magdolen is hopeful the theatre can get some funding through grants.

“Hopefully we're able to get some grants and some support, and we’re hoping to do some bigger changes to the lobby, get some new sets, extending the stage, those sort of things,” says Magdolen.

The new executive director plans to encourage more community involvement with the theatre.

“We’re going to move into more special events types of showings and work closer with the community, either booking out the space or working with them to put something on,” says Magdolen.

Although the theatre is in the early stages of reopening, Magdolen has plans to expand showtimes and dates.

“Friday and Saturday evenings, we’re doing three films each night. Over the summer we’ll expand depending on how those nights are doing. We might add Tuesday and Thursday and see how they're doing, and do more and more,” he says.

You can check out the upcoming showtimes and buy tickets here.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Wheeler or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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