The Paramount Theatre in Kelowna closed Sunday night after 67 years.

Update: Long-time Kelowna cinema fades to black, community wonders what’s next

Kelowna's Paramount Theatre closes after 67 years as the city's downtown cinema

The screens at Kelowna’s Paramount theatre faded to black this week, marking the end of a 67 year run.

The last films played Monday night and, for those in attendance, it was a somewhat somber occasion.

“Most people were there —especially the ones who chose the black and white film— to acknowledge a loss in the community,” said Ryan Donn, a Kelowna city councillor and longtime community arts booster.

The location, he said, is where many had their first date or first theatre experience and for them it was a “sad and nostalgic” experience, leading to reminiscing and last-minute photo-ops, for posterity sake.

While closing a chapter always strikes an emotional chord, many have moved on to raising questions about what will happen to the space next.

Doug Porozni, president of Ronmor developments, the Calgary based company that bought the theatre two years ago, said even he’s unsure of what will happen.

The company is currently in negotiations with potential occupants, he said Tuesday, and will have a clearer idea of what will happen in the space in the next few weeks.

In a previous interview, he said that the company wanted to retain as much of the building’s character as possible.

“Initially we were going to demolish it and build a mixed use project there, but we’ve realized we should keep the bones of the building the best we can, including the sign out front,” he said, of the 14,000 square foot property that’s now being referred to in Ronmor advertising as Paramount Court.

The aesthetics, said Coun. Donn, is something he’s believes will be important to the community.

What takes up residence in the days to come, however, may be of more relevance.

“If we had been thinking about this ahead of time, could (the city) have bought it for  the large community theatre we’re talking about for 2030?” he said.

“We know there is a gap in the community.”

That ship has seemingly sailed, but there is still a demand to offer something unique on the waterfront, and Donn said he hopes that whoever is making the decisions on what’s to come is listening to the community.

“I think if you step back you can see we are a culturally vibrant space,” said Donn, listing the Pianos in the Park program,  the Innovation Centre and Hotel Zed as a couple examples of this community attracting unique and different concepts and seeing them succeed.

“Let’s hope something unique and trendy (happens there).”

The theatre ended its run, appropriately enough with films from 1949, the year it opened.

Filmgoers taking in the Paramount’s last movies on the weekend were charged just $3 to see Abbott and Costello’s comedy Africa Screams and Orson Welles’ thriller The Third Man. One dollar from each admission went to  the support the Kids Help Phone line.

 

 

Just Posted

Kelowna 4th worst city in B.C. for homeless deaths

A report from BC Coroners Service reveals the most recent numbers from 2007 to 2016

Record rotary auction makes Okanagan dreams come true

Kalamalka Rotary Club donates more than $194,000

Indigenous students recognized at ceremony at Okanagan College

The ceremony recognizes that students are getting an education while holding onto Indigenous background and teachings

Okanagan College Coyotes kick off season

The Coyotes enter the 2019 CCBC season with a battle against Edmonton on Saturday

Canada Finance Minister to promote budget in Kelowna

Bill Morneau will speak in Kelowna

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

Permit rejected to bring two cheetahs to B.C.

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

Real-life tsunami threat in Port Alberni prompts evacuation updates

UBC study says some people didn’t recognize the emergency signal

Care providers call for B.C. seniors’ watchdog to step down

The association also asks the province to conduct an audit and review of the mandate of her office

Update: Highway 3 near Keremeos open to alternating traffic

Details scarce about collision that has closed Highway 3 west of Keremeos

Okanagan librarian delves into trio of titles

Book Talk: Dark Matter, Lincoln’s Dreams and The Jealous Kind

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from B.C. roaster recalled due to botulism scare

“If you purchased N7 Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from Cherry Hill … do not drink it.”

B.C. man gets award for thwarting theft, sexual assault – all in 10 minutes

Karl Dey helped the VPD take down a violent sex offender

Baby left alone in vehicle in B.C. Walmart parking lot

Williams Lake RCMP issue warning after attending complaint at Walmart Wednesday

Most Read