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Paramount Theater in Idaho Falls undergoes major remodeling

One of the movie theater rooms at the Paramount Theater that is currently being remodeled. | Courtesy Kent Lott
IDAHO FALLS — Once people can attend movie theaters again, audiences will be in for a special treat at the Paramount Theater in Idaho Falls.
Before COVID-19 made its way to Idaho, remodeling was already underway at Paramount. Owner Kent Lott said they’d planned on remodeling, but they were going to spread it out over a year and a half. They were going to keep two auditoriums open all the time until the changes were complete. But since closing their doors because of the virus, and with the new Megaplex Theatre coming to Idaho Falls, they decided to work on all four auditoriums at once.
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“We’re just trying to make it as nice as we can. We’re nervous with the new theaters coming,” Lott told “(We decided to) update it a little bit. The Paramount was built in 1989. It was old school. We’re trying to make it a little more modern.”

Paramount Theater room three in the process of getting remodeled. | Courtesy Kent Lott
Some of the changes at Paramount include adding stadium seating, reserved seating, and comfier chairs with armrests that go up and down. They are also upgrading their sound equipment from 5.1 audio to 7.1 audio.
Paramount also installed air fryers. With the air fryers, they will be able to cook food and deliver the items to people’s seats. Their menu will be expanding and similar to Blackfoot Movie Mill’s. They’ll offer chicken strips, mozzarella sticks, personal pizzas, corn dog bites, Nathan’s hotdogs and pretzels.
“It’ll be a nice upgrade to have the stadium seating and the chairs are a lot more comfortable,” Lott said. “We got all four of the (auditoriums) tore apart now.”
Each room is in a different phase. Auditorium four will start being framed on Monday, and auditorium three is getting prepped for a paint job. Auditoriums one and two both have aisle lights being worked on, and chairs will most likely be put in auditorium one next week, Lott said.

Paramount Theater room two with new seats. | Courtesy Kent Lott
With the new changes, Lott said they’ll possibly need to hire more employees.
“Not only will we have more to do, but we feel like we’ll be busier,” Lott said.
He wouldn’t say whether the remodel would affect ticket prices.
Once the stay-at-home order is lifted and people can go to the movies again, Lott said they’ll have a few screens at their three locations (Paramount, Centre Twin and Blackfoot Movie Mill) playing movies, but probably not all screens.
“There’s nothing being released right now,” he said.
He said movies have been pushed back to either fall or they’ve been put online to be rented.
Until they can open their doors, they will continue to work on Paramount. After it’s finished, Lott said Centre Twin in downtown Idaho Falls will have stadium seating put in its bottom auditorium. The balcony auditorium already has stadium seating.
“It’ll be really good. We’re just trying to get it all put together,” Lott said.

Paramount Theater has new cabinets in the lobby. | Courtesy Kent Lott

New cabinets at Centre Twin. | Courtesy Kent Lott

New cabinets at Centre Twin. | Courtesy Kent Lott

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