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Newly remodeled Paramount Theater opening this weekend and here’s a look inside

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New seating inside the Paramount Theater in Idaho Falls. See the changes in the video player above. | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

IDAHO FALLS – The newly remodeled Paramount Theater in Idaho Falls is opening its doors this weekend.

General Manager Brandon Lott tells EastIdahoNews.com the theater received approval from Gov. Brad Little Wednesday night to reopen early during Stage 3 of Rebound Idaho, instead of during Stage 4 when it was originally planned.

“It was kind of a surprise. It was late in the week,” says Lott.

Beginning Saturday, audiences will be able to see “Trolls World Tour,” “Sonic the Hedgehog” and “I Still Believe” in brand-new reclinable stadium seating with enough room for people to get in and out freely without disturbing others. Get a look in the video player above.

The theater also transitioned from 5.1 surround sound to 7.1 surround sound.

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“It’s a more immersive surround sound experience. With 7.1, you’re getting two additional channels of surround sound,” Lott says. “If something’s happening behind the camera, those speakers will pick that up.”

Matinees will now be $5 and evening shows will be $7. Tickets can now be purchased online as well.

No films are currently being released in theaters due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Lott says they’ll begin showing first-run movies soon.

“Our hope is that we can give families an affordable option to see the new movies,” he says.

Lott says they’re working with film companies to show popular classics until movies start being released again.

Other changes include new carpet throughout the building, new stair lighting, new cabinets and flooring in the lobby, new electronic ticket kiosks to get you in the theater quicker, and even an upgraded kitchen with new concessions equipment and menu items.

Customers can now order chicken strips and corn dog bites cooked in an air fryer and have it delivered to their seat.

“They’re cooked in an air fryer now, so they’ll be a little more crispy,” says Lott. “When you purchase those at the concessions stand, staff will ask you which auditorium you’re in and…we’ll bring it right to your seat.”

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With the recent announcement of two new movie theaters in Idaho Falls, Lott says he was concerned about the impact on the Paramount Theater. They’d been planning a remodel for a while. When the shutdown occurred, they decided to move forward with renovations.

“Hopefully with this upgrade to the building, this will breathe some life into the Paramount and get people excited about coming again and having a discounted experience,” Lott says.

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Netflix, Amazon Prime and other streaming services have changed the movie-going experience in recent years. Despite that, Lott says he hasn’t seen a decline in theater attendance and customers are still interested in going to the theater, especially during a pandemic when everyone has been stuck at home.

He says he’s grateful for the “overwhelming support” from the community and he’s looking forward to reopening to the public.

“People are looking for an escape, to get out and go do something,” Lott says. “We’re very excited to open and offer that getaway experience in a newly remodeled facility.”

The Blackfoot Movie Mill, which Lott also manages, is reopening on Saturday as well. Lott is also remodeling the Centre Twin in downtown Idaho Falls, which is scheduled to reopen sometime in June.

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