Long-awaited movie theatre opens
Oct 4, 2012 / 8:32 am
The popcorn is the same, but the new Landmark Cinemas 7 in Penticton will offer a much different movie-going experience than the old Pen-Mar.
City officials and others, who were treated to a first look at the new theatre and a showing of the film "Looper" at Wednesday's VIP night, liked what they saw.
"It's an eye popper, just the way it looks on the outside," said Kreshia Attrill, who attended with her businessman father. "I have been looking forward to this since I first heard about it."
The public will get to see the latest flicks there starting Friday. On Thursday, today, the Pen-Mar Cinema Centre on Martin Street will come to the end of its long run.
After several years in the planning and dealing with issues such as contamination at the site, Landmark Cinemas announced last year they would build the theatre on the Liquidation World property on Westminster Avenue.
Construction began in December, 2011, and the state-of-the-art theatre is ready to open for business.
Among its features are seven luxury auditoriums, stadium-style seating, wall-to-wall wrap-around screens, and RealD 3D technology in five theatres.
"The Pen-Mar has served the Penticton area for nearly half a century, and it is indeed past its best by date," said Neil Campbell, chief operating officer for Landmark Cinemas of Canada. "We are extremely proud to open this state-of-the-art cinema complex in this community, so that the people of Penticton can enjoy all the magic of the movies once again."
Councillor Garry Litke said the building is part of a plan to revitalize the downtown.
The plan is to make the area around the building an entertainment district.
"It is really important to have this theatre here, because we are trying to bring life to the downtown after 5 p.m," he said.
As for the Pen-Mar, the building is leased by Landmark Cinemas, and what happens next at the location is up to them.
Jackie Korabo, a Penticton resident who has watched movies at the aging theatre for 35 years, said she will be sad to see it go.
"I will miss it; it's kind of like a best friend who is always there," she said, as she took a picture of the words "Farewell Pen-Mar, 1956 to 2012," on the building. "But I love movies, so I will go to the new one."
But those who sat in the theatre watching the ribbon cutting and listening to speeches from officials welcomed the change.
"Many of us have been driving to Westbank to see movies, so this is thrilling to us," said business owner Judy Lloyd. "Now we can see good movies in a first-class theatre in our hometown."
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