Movie-goers can now mark in pen on their calendars the opening date for the new Landmark Cinemas 7 in Penticton: Oct. 5.
“The patient people of Penticton have waited and we are there now, finally, the way we want to be and it is a beautiful theatre. I am so thrilled and couldn’t be happier,” said Neil Campbell of Landmark Cinemas. “We have been in the Penticton marketplace for I think close to 40 years and I did not want it going to somebody else.”
Demolition of the Liquidation World building started in December, and now the Westminster Avenue property is home to the seven-screen multiplex with glass windows and a shiny new Landmark Cinemas sign perched at the top. It has already been announced the theatre will have rocker stadium seats, 7.1 digital sound, RealD 3D in four out of seven screens and the ability to purchase tickets online. Campbell announced something else on Tuesday, they also will offer the ability to reserve seats online at no extra charge.
“Many years ago a lady phoned me because she was so upset. She was driving into Penticton from about an hour out and we were playing Disney movies and she got there and it was sold out. She drove in twice and it was sold out. She said you have got to be able to do something better than this because now I have a car full of kids crying and screaming and hollering that, ‘Mom I want to see the movie,” said Campbell. “To her, that is one of the reasons why we are going to reserved seating in Penticton.”
It is something Landmark Cinemas implemented in another new theatre that opened in May in New Westminster.
“Now there will be no rushing and you will have no reason to be in a panic to get there. Usually a couple will have one person waiting at the concession stand while the other one runs in and holds the seats. Now you can both go there, get exactly what you want from the concession and when you walk into the auditorium, your seat is there waiting for you. It takes all the stress out of going to a movie,” said Campbell.
The Landmark CEO said there are lots of movies being released at the beginning of October that appeal to all ages including the 3D animation flick Frankenweenie, Taken 2, Pitch Perfect, Hotel Transylvania, Won’t Back Down and more. Campbell is especially excited for audiences to catch Argo, which opens the following week in Penticton. Directed by Ben Affleck, Argo is the true story of how the Canadian government and a CIA specialist concocted a risky plan to free six Americans in Iran who found shelter at the home of the Canadian ambassador during a revolution. The movie stars Affleck, Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) and John Goodman (Roseanne, The Big Lebowski). Campbell said he watched it at the premiere of the Toronto Film Festival.
“The crowd started going nuts when the escape was happening and they didn’t stop. You get a lump in your throat you feel so good about being Canadian,” he said. “People were on their feet literally clapping for 20 minutes. It was the biggest crowd reaction to a film I have seen in a long, long time there.”
The Pen Mar Cinema Centre will officially close on Oct. 4. Campbell said the community should expect to hear more about the grand opening of the Landmark Cinemas 7 as the date gets closer.
“We do have some really neat contests that are going to be coming and more surprises before the opening,” said Campbell.