Pivot – a single word that we would say is a top contender for the 2020 expression of the year. As businesses around the globe have shifted how they operate to offer safe experiences for guests and employees in response to COVID-19, we want to recognize the Kamloops Film Society (KFS) for thinking of outside-the-box ways to allow us all to enjoy the movies, safely.
With the traditional theatre experience altered, the KFS team quickly adapted in many ways to the new normal. First – they kicked off the summer with the popular Twin Rivers Drive-in, then they retooled and updated its menu of membership opportunities (which also make great #SupportLocal gifts – just saying) and finally, they created the PERFECT date night experience allowing community members to rent the paramount for private screenings – popcorn and candy included!
We sat down with Dušan Magdolen, Executive Director of the Kamloops Film Society to discuss everything from bringing the drive-in back to Kamloops to holiday gift ideas for family, friends and clients. Find out what he has to say.
We’ve seen some interesting businesses pivot in response to COVID-19, one of our favorite was the Twin Rivers Drive-in, can you tell us about how that idea came about? How was it received?
The idea for the Twin Rivers Drive-In came to us from our partners on the project: Tourism Kamloops, Lee’s Music and GK Sound. Along with the City, the idea was developed, piloted, and ultimately launched for the summer. Based on ticket sales and audience response, we feel it was a huge success. People really enjoyed having something they could do together as a family/group that was safe and tapped into nostalgia. Many came back multiple times.
With the days getting shorter and shorter (sadly), what activities does the KFS have planned for this fall/winter for the community to participate in?
For November, we’re continuing with some excellent Free Member Movies and Looney Toonie Member Movies, plus Special Events! Remember, Memberships start at only $5! For Remembrance Day we’ll have Saving Private Ryan and Peter Jackson’s innovative documentary, They Shall Not Grow Old. On Friday the 13th, we’ll be playing… the original Friday the 13th! We’re also partnering with Lee’s Music on Jurassic Park: they’re bringing in some extra bass!! We’ve also got some regular screenings of new films including Made in Italy with Liam Neeson and The Artist’s Wife with Bruce Dern. Then, as we move toward Christmas, we’ve got some holiday fun coming up, starting with Elf at the end of November!
With the recent effects of COVID-19 and new social distancing requirements, how has the theatre experience changed?
The main fun of going to the movies has not changed at all. Sitting in a dark theatre with other filmgoers, eating some delicious popcorn, and enjoying a great film are all still a go at the Paramount Theatre. Obviously, due to COVID-19, we have put in some new and stringent procedures and cleaning methods. The main items that patrons need to know is that masks are mandatory any time you are out of your seat, we are limited to 50 patrons per theatre, there are new signs and arrows highlighting the flow of the venue, we have hand sanitizer everywhere, and we have taped off most of the seats in both theatres to ensure social distancing. Our theatres are really big so there is plenty of room!
The Kamloops Film Festival in March has grown to be one of the largest in British Columbia, have you started planning the 2021 event yet? If so, what details can you share with us?
So far, the main thing we know are the dates: March 4 to 13, 2021. Outside of that, we haven’t planned too much. Our intention is to move forward with the festival and to have as many engagement and extra activities as is safely possible. Obviously, the festival will have to morph, but we’re confident it will still be an amazing experience.
The holiday season is approaching fast! What unique gifts can I purchase through the Kamloops Film Society for friends, family or clients?
We are offering our Date Night and Family Party private booking events for sale as GIFTS! People can get their family or friends a unique entertainment experience. Whether gaming or a movie, the gift recipients can make the event their own!
See what is coming soon to the Paramount Theatre and find out how you can support a cultural landmark in Kamloops. We will see you at the movies!
Community Builder for the Kamloops Chamber of Commerce