PHOTOS: Kelowna’s historic Paramount Theatre remembered

A Kelowna resident has shared rare photos of Kelowna’s historic Paramount Theatre, which now stands as a Tim Hortons and CRAFT Beer Market.

“My dad passed the photos along to the family,” said Cathie Pavlik in a post on ‘Old Kelowna’ Facebook group.

“His name is William (Bill) Treadgold. He was a Kelowna Pioneer and strong citizen of Kelowna – born in Kelowna in 1918 to Kelowna pioneers Arthur(Tom) and Sarah Donalda Treadgold. My dad passed in 2015. The photos of the Paramount come from a collection my dad acquired from a friend. I believe Will Harper or relatives of his.”

READ MORE: Character of Paramount Theatre to be maintained with re-development

The Paramount Theatre officially opened on Thursday at 8:30 p.m., June 16, 1949, with a seating capacity of 839. The population of Kelowna at the time was almost 8,000.

The Paramount Theatre was built in two pieces. The first piece came in 1946 and the second piece was built in the 1960s. When the theatre was bought by a Calgary developer in 2016, initial plans called for the historic building to be completely demolished.

Concerns voiced by the community about the potential loss of important character prompted the Calgary developer to keep the structural bones of the building, including the sign out front.

The last films to be screened at the Paramount were classics in a nod to its storied movie-past. Two movies from 1949—Orson Welles’ The Third Man and Abbott & Costello’s Africa Screams; from 1987 —Harry and Hendersons and the original Beverly Hills Cop were screened for just $5.

READ MORE: Final movie showings for Paramount Theatre revealed

Daniel Taylor
Reporter, Kelowna Capital News
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