Cinema construction on track for spring completion

By Angela Brown
January 25, 2019 - 5:00pm

The new four-screen cinema being built in downtown North Battleford is close to completion, with owners expecting it to open either at the end of March or in early April.

Tom Hutchinson, president of Magic Lantern Theatres, said the project is actually ahead of schedule.

"We're hoping the sign will go up next week," he said. 

Installation work for the flooring, wall coverings, cabinetry and equipment is currently ongoing.

Hutchinson added the new facility on 11 Avenue near 101st St. will have four theatre rooms, which are all wheelchair accessible. Sizing of each soundproof room will vary with leather-style seating from 90 to 150. 

A new addition to the centre will be a party room for birthdays and other gatherings.

The project is an addition to the current theatre on 100th Street so there will be five screens with differing movie selections, Hutchinson said.  

"We're treating it as one theatre," he said. "The old Capital (theatre) is screen number one. In the new building will be screens two, three, four and five." 

The plan is to incorporate a variety of films each week. Hutchinson said one advantage with the screen numbers is to keep a film longer than a week.

Theatre manager Ursula Swindler plans to start hiring for the new venue next month. 

“I'm looking for people who will fit in,” Swindler said. "We have a positive crew here, with positive attitudes and hard workers."

"We'll be training people here at the Capital (on 100 St.), so just before the other theatre opens so everybody will be ready to go," she added.

Swindler estimates she will need around eight to 10 new staff members to handle concession sales and serve as ushers. 

"I'm excited," she said of the upcoming opening. "The whole staff is excited to be able to have an opportunity to have more movies, more entertainment for everybody in town. I see more people coming downtown and having another option of something to do in the evenings. This way we will have five movies a week to choose from."

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