The Landmark Cinemas Paramount Theatre in Port Alberni has reopened after a few months of “extensive” renovations.
The theatre officially opened its doors to the public on Monday, June 24 with a showing of Rocketman, and it was a sold-out event.
With the new upgrades, the theatre has decreased in capacity. While it used to hold more than 300 seats, it now has 173 fully reclining seats with plenty of leg room. But Ashley Kruger, marketing and promotions manager with Landmark Cinemas, thinks the theatre will now be “consistently more full” because it offers a more enjoyable experience.
“We’ve added a lot of personal space,” said Kruger. “It’s about being able to feel comfortable while you’re watching a movie. Every seat’s a great seat in here.”
Every set of two seats has a middle armrest that lifts up so couples can sit together, and a few seats are always reserved for wheelchair-users and their companions. Along with the new seating, the theatre also has brand new floors, a new roof, new insulation and improved lighting. All of the equipment—from speakers to screen—has been cleaned and maintained up to standard.
“This is on par with what you get in bigger cities,” said Kruger. “Essentially, everything you see is new or cleaned.”
There is still a bit more work to be done. Over the next few weeks, the washrooms will undergo renovations, the front doors will be replaced and the outside of the building will get a bit of a “facelift.” Even the marquee sign will be replaced, although marquee advertising for current movies is not included in the theatre’s plans at this time. You can always find movie listings online at www.landmarkcinemas.com/now-playing/port-alberni or on page A10 of the Alberni Valley News’ print edition.
In the meantime, the theatre will still be open to the public.
“We really wanted to get it open for as much of the summer blockbusters as possible,” said Kruger.
Landmark Cinemas offered an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the new recliner experience on Wednesday, June 26, with most of Port Alberni’s mayor and council attending. Mayor Sharie Minions thanked Landmark Cinemas for all the work they have done to improve the building.
“I really think it could be a catalyst for this area,” she said on Wednesday.
With the new recliner seats, there are three ways to book your tickets. You can pick your seats in advance online at www.landmarkcinemas.com, purchase your tickets in person at the theatre or download the “Atom” app—which also allows you to preorder concession items.