Public Tours of the Paramount Camera Obscura Now Available
Public tours of a new camera obscura artwork by Donald Lawrence on the canopy of the Paramount Theatre are now available throughout the summer.

A key focus of Kamloops based artist Donald Lawrence’s practice has been the merging of art, technology and science. Through pinhole camera and camera obscura projects, Lawrence’s work draws upon early optical and image-making devices, and centres on conventions of illusion that emerged through the use of these technologies in 19th century European culture (though their origins lay in previous times and in other cultures).

Lawrence’s cameras obscura have emerged as site-specific projects that revisit early photographic technology through experiences outside the gallery context. As part of his Kamloops Art Gallery exhibition Casting the Eye Adrift (on until December 31, 2020), Lawrence has created a new camera obscura tent structure that is installed on the canopy of the Paramount Theatre, called the Paramount Camera Obscura. This project is a partnership with the Kamloops Film Society. Reflecting Lawrence’s interest in the connection between urban and “wilderness” cultures, and our romantic relationship to nature, the structure looks like a rustic camping shelter.

The phrase, camera obscura, is Latin for “darkened chamber” or “dark room.” The camera obscura is a device that admits light through a small opening (often fitted with a glass lens) into a box or darkened space to project an upside down image of the outside world onto a surface inside the box or space.

With this work, visitors are invited to enter the tent structure and sit on vintage theatre seats to experience a new view of the intersection at Victoria and 5th Avenue as an upside down projected image.

Guided Tours for 2 people at a time (or family groups of 3) offered through September.


Tuesdays 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Please bring a mask

Social distancing and sanitizing protocols will be in place


  • Please self-assess before visiting the Gallery and please stay home if you are not feeling well.
  • The Gallery will limit the capacity on public tours of the Camera Obscura to two (2) visitors at a time, unless a family of three (3).
  • All visitors and staff must maintain a two-metre distance from each other when not in the Camera Obscura tent. Family groups may remain together. Children must stay with an adult at all times.
  • Please bring and wear a mask during the tour. Masks will also be available.
  • Visitors will be greeted in the lobby of the Paramount Theatre when they enter the building and safety protocols and exhibition information will be shared.
  • Visitors may be directed to a designated waiting area before being escorted by a KAG Tour Guide up to the Paramount Camera Obscura viewing experience.
    • The Tour Guide will escort visitors up stairwell and into the tent of the Paramount Camera Obscura
    • The Tour Guide will unzip/zip the tent to permit visitor entry/exit
    • There are three (3) seats in the tent. Only two (2) visitors will be allowed in the tent at a time, and visitors will be asked to leave the centre seat empty, unless viewing as a family of three (3).
    • The tour involves a closed-in viewing experience where physical distancing is not entirely possible, which is why we ask everyone to wear a mask and sanitize their hands upon entry and exit.
  • Hand sanitation stations have been placed in the lobby and stringent cleaning practices are in place for the viewing experience. The public washroom in the Paramount Theatre will be closed.
  • High-touch points, such as door handles, seats and tent zippers, will be cleaned after each use.
  • Exhibition Guides are available for personal use and if returned, following your visit, they will be re-used after a week in quarantine.
  • Located on the canopy of the Paramount Theatre, accessing the Paramount Camera Obscura involves climbing 16 stairs up a narrow staircase (78 cm wide), travelling through a narrow passageway (68 cm wide) and through a narrow doorway (61 cm wide) to the roof.
  • Above all, we look forward to seeing you at the Gallery. For the latest information on COVID-19, please visit the Province of British Columbia’s website. For additional information about the Gallery’s safety measures and procedures, please contact kamloopsartgallery [at]
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