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Petawawa Theatre prepares to reopen May 17

Many thought they had seen the final curtain call at Troyes Cinema, located on Garrison Petawawa, when the movie theatre closed in 2022.

The previous manager retired, leaving the big screen on base blank for nearly two years.

But the only remaining indoor movie theatre between Renfrew and North Bay is set to reopen May 17.

Oakville-based company Film.ca has taken over management of the military-owned building.

“My son Dylan recently joined the Armed Forces and was stationed at CFB Petawawa,” Jeff Knoll, CEO of Film.ca tells CTV News Ottawa.

“While we were visiting him at his new home, we saw that the movie theater had actually closed shortly after they moved in, and recognized what an important feature was to that community.”

The roughly 300-seat theatre is currently under renovations for a much needed facelift, but Knoll says there was too much excitement about the reopening.

“The moment we mentioned that we’re reopening the outreach and the outcry of excitement from the community was palpable. So, we wanted to get open as quickly as possible,” Knoll said.

Petawawa resident Christina Knot-Allen says her children went to the last movie before it closed.

“We have an 11-year-old and a 17-year-old. So, they’re excited to be able to go back and watch movies,” she said.

Fellow local resident Kelsie Young says she grew up on base in Petawawa and recalls the fond memories of time spent at Troyes Cinema and the theatrics put on by the previous manager.

“It was always a show, he used to do handstands. I forgot about that, it was amazing,” said Young.

“We live just down the street, so we can’t wait to just be able to walk and go see a movie and walk home.”

CFB Petawawa Commander Col. Jason Guiney says having the theatre reopen on base will be a moral boost to soldiers and provides more opportunities for socialization.

“First and foremost, these services are for soldiers,” said Guiney.

“But we encourage our soldiers to bring their friends and families, (and) to bring their friends as well.”

On social media, Troyes Cinema says the theatre will be open to everyone from the public.

“I wanted to be able to use my expertise to improve quality of life on the base,” said Knoll.

“I think the biggest piece for us was really trying to contribute to our forces and to the surrounding communities.”

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