An Open Letter to Mayor Sharon Gaetz
Late last year we visited old, boarded-up Paramount Theatre. We felt sad that this Heritage Theatre is no longer a part of our thriving community. In our Social Studies, we learn that without care, many historical landmarks in communities will perish. The loss of the Paramount Theatre sends a message of a dying community, but our Chilliwack is alive!
In a news report of January 26, you said “the last thing we want to do is demolish.” We fully agree with you. Our parents elected you because you really do represent the community and your desires are our desires. After all, I haven’t spoken to one person who wants to see the Paramount be the victim of a wrecking ball.
You suggested that there were only two options, which are to get more proposals or demolish it. We think there are two other options. Firstly, you and City Council have the ability to change the Request for Proposal to make it more attractive. The old Fire Hall was really not attractive, but now it gleams. We believe this can happen to the Paramount with private enterprise and a creative RFP.
Secondly, you can give the community time to form a Society to raise the funds to save the Paramount. The idea of raising the funds to save the Paramount was never given to the community as an option because everyone thought there would be many proposals.
The Paramount building is a physical tie to the past. Since it has been in the news, our parents have told us many stories about their movies nights at the Paramount. We also are old enough to have seen a few movies there. The theatre experience at the Paramount was equal to the movie itself (even better if it was a bad movie)!
Bailey-Jayne Chapman, Grade 5
Mathew Zandberg, Grade 5
Takara Charlton, Grade 5