Cineplex Odeon Corporation

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Cineplex Odeon Corporation
Former type Private
Industry Entertainment (movie theaters)
Fate Merged with Loews Theatres to form Loews Cineplex Entertainment
Founded April 19, 1979 (1979-04-19)
Defunct May 1998 (1998-05)
Headquarters Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Key people Garth Drabinsky and Nat Taylor
Parent AMC Theatres

Cineplex Odeon Corporation was one of North America's largest movie theatre operators, with theatres in its home country of Canada and the United States. The Cineplex Odeon Theatres are now operated by Cineplex Entertainment in Canada and as AMC Theatres in the United States.[1]


Cineplex was founded on April 19, 1979, by Garth Drabinsky and Nat Taylor, when its first theatre complex opened in the Toronto Eaton Centre, located in Toronto, Ontario.

In 1984, Cineplex bought out Canadian Odeon Theatres, a unit of the UK firm Odeon Cinemas and operator of the Odeon cinemas in Canada, to become Cineplex Odeon. In 1985, Cineplex bought out the Plitt Theatres chain (previously United Paramount Theatres and ABC Theatres). In 1986, Cineplex Odeon bought out Essaness Theatres (a Chicago area chain), Neighborhood Theatres of Virginia, and the RKO Century Theatres chain (previously Century Theatres [a New York area chain] and RKO Stanley Warner Theatres).[2] Also, in 1986, when federal regulations had been relaxed, MCA (owners of Universal) purchased a stake in Cineplex Odeon.

A film distribution outlet, Cineplex Odeon Films, and a home video distribution outlet, Cineplex Odeon Home Video (Later Cineplex Odeon Video), were established later in 1986. All titles were distributed in Canada on MCA's behalf, but the film distribution outlet ceased operations in 1997 and the home video outlet a year later after MCA sold Universal Studios.

In April 1998,[3] Cineplex Odeon Theatres merged with New York City-based Loews Theatres (founded in 1904 by Marcus Loew) to form Loews Cineplex Entertainment. Within a few years, Onex sold the U.S. unit outright, keeping the Canadian operations and forming Cineplex Galaxy LP. (Its cinema in Burlington, Washington is one of the locations with its original sign.)

In July 2005, Cineplex Galaxy LP acquired Famous Players, its largest competitor in Canada, from Viacom, becoming the largest theatre chain in Canada. The company has since renamed itself to Cineplex Entertainment LP. That same year, AMC Theatres acquired the Loews Cineplex chain in the U.S., while maintaining its own Canadian theatres.


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