The Paramount Theatre won’t be closing after all.
While Landmark Cinemas ceased operations in the theatre on April 17, Landmark has sold the building at Victoria Street and Fifth Avenue downtown to the Kelson Group, a local property-management company.
Kelson has in turn leased the theatre, at below market rates to the Kamloops Film Society, which also has an option to buy the building from Kelson Group at the original price Kelson paid. There is also an option to renew the five-year lease for five more years.
The Kamloops Film Society will continue to run its annual film festival and film series in the Paramount and will also be looking to create a cultural hub in the space, with film, music, comedy, theatre and other art forms.
Along with its lease payment, the society will assume operations costs, with a donation from Kelson Group owners Ron and Rae Fawcett to help with that bill.
The society will be devising a way to diversify theatre venues and concession offerings.
The Kamloops Film Society will screen Stockholm on Thursday night, after which the Paramount will close until June 1, when the society opens it on a part-time basis, with plans for a grand opening of the venue in the fall.
Dusan Magdolen is now full-time executive director of the society, tasked with turning the Paramount into a viable arts facility.
“We know it won’t happen overnight, but we intend to honour the community’s aspirations for what this venue can be and are off to a great start with the incredible help of Ron Fawcett and Kelson Group,” Magdolen said.
More to come . . .