Demolition clears way for theatre

Landmark Cinema expects to have new seven-screen theatre open in Penticton by summer of 2012

Executive director Barb Haynes of the Downtown Penticton Association talks to Penticton economic development officer David Arsenault from behind the controls of the heavy duty equipment at the Winnipeg Street site of the Landmark Cinema complex.

Executive director Barb Haynes of the Downtown Penticton Association talks to Penticton economic development officer David Arsenault from behind the controls of the heavy duty equipment at the Winnipeg Street site of the Landmark Cinema complex.

The new Landmark Cinema theatre is on track with construction, according to the company’s president.

On Thursday, Brian McIntosh, was in Penticton looking over the site as heavy equipment commenced demolition on the Liquidation World building where the theatre will be constructed.

“We understand that this kind of weather doesn’t stop them at all, they work right through it,” said McIntosh. “We will be pouring concrete in January and opening in the summer of 2012. It’s a six- to seven-month construction period — that is pretty standard.”

Artist renderings of the development held by Churchill International Property Corporation show two pads that are also available for development. McIntosh said Landmark Cinema is hoping restaurants will be constructed on site to pair the dinner and a movie experience.

“We understand there have been a number of inquiries from national restaurant chains and also some local restaurateurs who would like to relocate or develop a second location that have been in conversation with the developers as well,” said McIntosh.

The new state-of-the-art seven-screen multiplex cinema has generated a lot of buzz among movie-goers in the area since Landmark acquired the site on Sept. 23. When completed in the summer of 2012, each theatre will have full stadium seating, digital sound, large curved screens and RealD 3D technology will be installed.

“We have people talking about it non-stop,” said Kerri Milton, manager at the Pen-Mar Cinema Centre. “I think what is really exciting is actually seeing the building behind us going down. People know it is really happening, and it’s happening really quickly.”

When the new theatre opens, the staff will grow from the 15 that currently are in the Pen-Mar to 30 or 40 predicts Milton. As for what will happen with the Pen-Mar, that will be up to Wildstone Construction who own the property.

“It’s too early at this point in time to say. We have a couple of plans in the works but nothing is really ironclad right now. It has to make financial sense. We definitely plan to do something with it and improve the building and facility,” said Trent Sismey, chief financial officer for Wildstone. “We are getting quite a bit of interest in it, being that there is not many places on the main drags in Penticton that have a facility greater than 10,000 square feet and with parking. Anyone that is a larger storefront that needs ample room, it can be converted pretty easily.”

The completed Landmark Cinema project fronting on Westminster Avenue West, will be known as Iron City Square. Since the announcement of the new construction has been made it has also generated interest in the downtown core of Penticton.

“It is when you get things like this going forward and people start seeing the improvements and new construction that other people get interested and I hope it carries on,” said Mayor Dan Ashton. “It makes a huge difference, to have a city without a good movie theatre provides a little challenge sometimes for that cultural aspect.”


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