For the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Paramount Theatre is now open for business once again, returning with its popular Thursday Film Series.
Although the Kamloops Film Society, owners of the Paramount Theatre, have been showing films at the Twin Rivers Drive-In all summer, the Paramount Theatre itself is now open for the coming weeks on Thursdays. The classic Thursday Film Series will be showcasing favourite documentaries from the past, while also showing some that they had initially planned to show during the spring.
Dusan Magdolen, Executive Director of the Kamloops Film Society, said that the idea behind the Thursday Film Series “is the best documentary features from around the world… they just play on Thursdays, so it keeps it special and exclusive.”
The first film of the series came out at the theatre on Sept. 10, although the theatre had been shut down for the last six months before that. The film society hopes that they will be able to open more than just Thursday nights in the future, but the theatre is waiting to see if the situation around COVID-19 changes.
Now that theatre is open for business, they have implemented many new safety protocols to keep moviegoers safe. These include mandatory masks in all common spaces, plenty of signage, and reminding patrons to wash or sanitize their hands. Magdolen did note that “once you’re in your seat, you can pop off your mask, have some delicious popcorn, but anywhere else, we’re making masks mandatory.”
“We’ve got our concession, the lines sort of spaced out, so there are dots to stand on so people are spaced six feet apart, and then both theatres have an entrance door and an exit door, so there’s a flow in and out, so people aren’t having to backtrack through each other.” He added that “we’ve also used some flagging tape too to tape off some of the seats so that all the seats that are available in both theatres are spaced out already so we’re keeping everyone social distanced within the theatre,” Magdolen said.
Luckily for the Paramount, both theatres are quite large and can seat up to a group of six together in one section and don’t need to only seat people in pairs.
“We’ve got sections up to six people, so if a group of six comes in that are in each other’s bubble, they can sit together, which is really nice,” Magdolen said.
Magdolen also said that there are new cleaning protocols in place. ”We’re cleaning all the high touch areas multiple times in an evening, and then we also have this sanitizing gun.”
According to Magdolen, this gun can sanitize any surface quickly, including fabrics, so that in 10 minutes, everything that’s been sprayed is sanitized.
Currently, there is a lot still happening at the Paramount Theatre and for the Kamloops Film Society besides the Thursday Film Series. If people are interested, they can rent the theatre for a date night or family party and have a big screen all to themselves. The theatre will also provide snacks from their concession to those attending.
The Twin Rivers Drive-In is also running until the end of the month, so anyone interested in checking out a classic film or two should head on over to their website, thekfs.ca, to see titles and purchase tickets.
Anyone interested in the Thursday Film Series and what documentaries are being shown can check out their website, thekfs.ca, for more information and to purchase tickets. The next documentary playing is “For Sama” on Sept. 17 at 7:30 pm.