|Formerly called||Galaxy Entertainment Inc. (1999-2003)
Cineplex Galaxy Income Fund (2003-2011)
Cineplex Galaxy LP (2003-2005)
|Traded as||TSX: CGX TSX: CGX.DB|
|Predecessors||Famous Players, Inc.
Cineplex Odeon Corporation
(foundation of earliest claimed predecessor, Famous Players Film Company)
(opening of first "Cineplex" location)
(establishment of Galaxy Entertainment Inc.)
(founder of earliest ancestor circuit)
Garth Drabinsky and Nathan Taylor
(founders of Cineplex Odeon)
Ellis Jacob and Stephen Brown
(founders of Galaxy Entertainment Inc.)
|Headquarters||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Key people||Ellis Jacob, President & CEO|
|Revenue||CAN$ 1.010 billion (2010)|
|Net income||CAN$ 63.0 million (2010)|
Cineplex Inc. (TSX: CGX) is one of Canada’s largest entertainment companies and operates numerous businesses including movie theatres, food services, gaming, alternative programming (Front Row Centre Events), Cineplex Media, Cineplex Digital Solutions and the online sale of home entertainment content through CineplexStore.com and on apps embedded in various electronic devices. Cineplex is also a joint venture partner in SCENE – Canada’s largest entertainment loyalty program.
Through its operating subsidiary Cineplex Entertainment LP, Cineplex operates 161 theatres with 1,635 screens in all 10 Canadian provinces from coast to coast, serving approximately 71 million guests annually through the following theatre brands: Cineplex Odeon, SilverCity, Famous Players, Galaxy Cinemas, Scotiabank Theatres, Cineplex Cinemas and Cineplex VIP Cinemas. Cineplex also owns and operates the UltraAVX, Poptopia, and Outtakes brands.
- 1 History
- 2 Operations and brands
- 3 XScape
- 4 Front Row Centre Events
- 5 Scene
- 6 Class Action Lawsuit
- 7 Concessions
- 8 See also
- 9 Notes
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Cineplex currently stakes a partial claim to the history of the Famous Players Film Company (later Paramount Pictures), founded in 1912, as its earliest predecessor, though that company did not have any operations in Canada until 1920, when it bought Nathan Nathanson's Paramount Theatre chain, which Nathanson had established four years earlier.[nb 1] Nathanson, along with being the 5th richest person in the world, became the first president of the resulting entity, Famous Players Canadian Corporation. In 1923, Famous Players bought out rival Allen Theatres, acquiring many buildings in the process .
The Famous Players Theatres chain was always strongly linked with Paramount, and was a wholly owned subsidiary of Paramount Communications at the time that firm was acquired by Viacom in 1994. Some of the most high-profile and popular theatres in the Famous Players chain were the Imperial and the Uptown in Toronto; and the Capitol, Orpheum, Stanley, and Strand in Vancouver.
Nathanson resigned from his post as President of Famous Players Canadian in 1929, but after a government investigation into the new executives' plans to merge with Paramount-Publix Corporation declared this to be an illegal combine, violating anti-trust laws, Nathanson was re-elected as President in May 1933.
Odeon Theatres of Canada was started by Paul Nathanson, Nathan's son, as "General Theatre Corporation." The "Odeon Theatres of Canada" name was first used in January 1941. The elder Nathanson was rumoured to be involved in the chain, but it was not until early May 1941 that he once again resigned from Famous Players Canadian and acknowledged his position in forming and running Odeon. The chain, initially composed of independent theatres, was not originally affiliated with the British "Odeon Cinemas" circuit; it was sold to the British chain's owners, the Rank Organisation, in 1946. Following World War II, there was a wave of anglophilia in Ontario; Odeon emphasised their British ownership to capitalize on this sentiment, screening British films—particularly those made by Rank.
Odeon Canada merged with the Canadian Theatres chain in 1978, becoming known as Canadian Odeon Theatres.
On April 19, 1979, Nathan "Nat" Taylor, inventor of the multiscreen theater, and Garth Drabinsky opened the first Cineplex location, an 18-screen complex in the basement of the Toronto Eaton Centre. At the time, the theatre's 1,600 seats earned it a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. After successfully challenging the Famous Players/Canadian Odeon duopoly and their exclusive contracts with major studios, Cineplex proceeded to purchase Canadian Odeon, forming Cineplex Odeon Corporation. The Bronfman family was a major investor in the purchase.
Expansion and competition
In the 1980s, Drabinsky purchased regional circuits throughout the United States, rebranding them as Cineplex Odeon Theatres as well. Back in Canada, Drabinsky used his new position to aggressively challenge Famous Players Theatres, opening more ultramodern multiplexes nationwide.
Most famously, Famous Players Theatres allowed the lease on a property containing the entrance of one of its flagship Toronto locations, the Imperial Six, to lapse in 1986. Cineplex immediately took over the lease, denying Famous Players Theatres access to the portion of the property that they already owned outright. Famous Players eventually sold its property to Cineplex Odeon Cinemas, on the condition it never again be used to show filmed entertainment. Cineplex's live-theatre division renovated the theatre; renamed the Pantages Theatre, it hosted The Phantom of the Opera for ten years. The theatre was renamed the Canon in 2001 and then again in 2011 as the Ed Mirvish Theatre, which it is currently known, in honour of the popular businessman and ironically Mr. Drabinsky's main competitor in live theatre in Toronto.
Cineplex also established a distribution unit, Cineplex Odeon Films, during this period; its assets were largely sold to Alliance Atlantis in 1998. A home-video division was started in 1986, replacing Pan-Canadian Video Presentations. The home-video division was sold to Alliance Atlantis in 1998.
Famous Players expanded throughout the 1990s. Under chairman John Bailey, Famous Players re-built its infrastructure from 1997 to 2003 with new "megaplex" theatre brands featuring stadium seating, such as SilverCity and Coliseum, with food courts and video games.
Also during this time, AMC Theatres entered the Canadian market, and most of the traditional ties between the existing chains and the major studios began to unwind, putting all three chains in full-on competition in several major markets.
By May 1998, Drabinsky had lost control of Cineplex to the Bronfmans' Seagram and its MCA division, which subsequently merged Cineplex Odeon Theatres with Sony's Loews Theatres. The resulting firm, Loews Cineplex Entertainment, went bankrupt in 2001 due to the economic recession of the early 2000s, leading to a buyout led by Onex Corporation.
Meanwhile, Galaxy Entertainment Inc. was created in 1999 by Ellis Jacob, a former Chief Operating Officer of Cineplex, and Stephen Brown, a former Cineplex Chief Financial Officer. With investments from Onex and Famous Players, the new company focused on smaller markets that were usually served by smaller theatres and old equipment, opening large, major chain-style locations under the Galaxy Cinemas banner.
In October 2003, Loews Cineplex Theatres merged its Canadian operations with Galaxy Cinemas, forming Cineplex Galaxy Income Fund. Jacob became the chief executive of Cineplex Galaxy Cinemas, and Brown became the CFO. Onex was the controlling shareholder of both Loews Cineplex Theatres and Galaxy Cinemas at the time of the merger, but sold its interest in Loews in June 2004. It maintained control of Cineplex Galaxy.
In 2004, Famous Players Theatres locations in the Maritimes, none of which were branded-concept theatres, were sold to the region's dominant exhibitor, Empire Theatres. Canadian Odeon locations in the region had been sold to Empire in the late 1970s or early 1980s, prior to the former's acquisition by Cineplex Odeon Cinemas.
On June 13, 2005, Cineplex Galaxy Income Fund announced its acquisition of Famous Players Theatres from Viacom for $500 million (about US$397 million). This deal was completed on July 22, 2005. To satisfy antitrust concerns, on August 22, 2005 the group announced the sale of 27 locations in Ontario and western Canada to Empire Theatres.
Cineplex Entertainment announced on March 31, 2006 that it had sold seven more theatres in Quebec to Chelsea-based Fortune Cinemas Inc.
Eight days after Cineplex Galaxy announced its purchase of Famous Players Theatres, Loews Cineplex Theatres and AMC Theatres announced a merger. While AMC Theatres also operates in Canada and was ranked third behind Cineplex Galaxy Income Fund and the enlarged Empire Theatres, Cineplex Odeon and AMC Theatres remained competitors. In 2012, AMC sold 4 of its theatres to Cineplex Entertainment, in an effort to divest their Canadian operations and focus on their U.S. assets.
Cineplex Galaxy Income Fund, the owners of the chain, renamed it to Cineplex Entertainment on October 3, 2005.
On June 29, 2007, Cineplex Entertainment announced its purchase of three Cinema City theatres in western Canada. Two theatres in Winnipeg and one in Edmonton were acquired.
On February 1, 2010, Fortune Cinemas went bankrupt and Cineplex Entertainment bought some of Fortune Cinemas theatres. The Starcité Gatineau (Starcité Hull) and the Cavendish theaters were reopened as Cineplex Entertainment theatres.
In July 2012, Cineplex Entertainment purchased four of AMC's Canadian theaters, including the Yonge Dundas 24 at 10 Dundas East, adjacent to the Toronto Eaton Centre, and the Forum in Montreal. The purchase of the Yonge Dundas 24, presently Canada's largest multiplex cinema, brought Cineplex Entertainment full circle, as the original Cineplex at Eaton Centre was the namesake for the present company. The company also earlier acquired the Tinseltown Movies 12 theatre from another American chain, Cinemark, in the Gastown neighbourhood of Vancouver.
On June 27, 2013, Cineplex Entertainment announced the purchase of 24 Empire Theatres locations. The theatres they acquired are in Atlantic Canada. The acquired locations were rebranded under the Cineplex Cinemas name upon sale completion. The sale also included 2 IMAX screens in Halifax, NS and St. John's, NL. and 2 Empire Extra screens in Dartmouth, NS and Dieppe, NB. The acquired Empire Extra screens were rebranded as UltraAVX. 
On October 10, 2013, Cineplex Entertainment received Competition Bureau Approval to buy 24 Empire Theatres in Atlantic Canada. Previously, the Empire Kanata and Whitby Theatres were to be sold to Cineplex, but were sold to Landmark Cinemas instead.
The Empire Theatres in Atlantic Canada closed on October 22, 2013 after the evening shows. The sale was completed on October 24, 2013. On October 24 & 25, 2013, the theatres reopened as Cineplex Cinemas.
Operations and brands
Following the sale of Empire Theatre's operations to Cineplex and Landmark Cinemas, Cineplex's main competitors are Cinemas Guzzo in Quebec, and Landmark Cinemas and Rainbow and Magic Lantern Cinemas in Ontario and western Canada. With the sales, Cineplex also became the only significant chain in Atlantic Canada, a role previously held by Empire.
On June 30, 2010, a cinema concept called UltraAVX made its public debut at two Toronto and Calgary locations. It has since been rolled out to other cities in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. UltraAVX features screens that are considerably larger than Cineplex Odeon's traditional ones, and a Dolby Digital 7.1 or a Dolby Atmos surround sound system. Christie Solaria 2230 DLP Cinema projectors (later upgraded to Christie Solaria 4230 4K projectors) provide distinct digital and 3D presentations. Guests can reserve seats, which are extra wide rocking seats with high backs. UltraAVX is currently available at 53 Cineplex locations across the country. As of November 2013, some Cineplex theatres has 2 UltraAVX screens in one theatre building. 1 UltraAVX screen can show movies in Dolby Atmos while the other UltraAVX screen can show movies in Dolby 7.1.
Cineplex debuted the purpose-built concept of "VIP Cinemas" in about 1998 at Varsity Cinemas in Toronto, Ontario. These theatres have their own private box office, in-seat concession service, a licensed lounge and allow guests to have alcoholic beverages in their seats (the theatre is only for guests who are 19+ in Ontario and British Columbia, 18+ in Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec). Guests can reserve seats, which are extra wide rocking seats with high backs or recliners in the front row(reserved seating is not available at Varsity Cinemas in Toronto, Ontario).
There are currently 9 locations: two in Toronto (one each in Varsity and Etobicoke), one in Oakville, one in London, Ontario, one in Abbotsford, British Columbia, one in Coquitlam, British Columbia, one in Edmonton, Alberta, one in Winnipeg, Manitoba and one in Brossard, Quebec. In October 2012, Cineplex announced the debut of a new five-screen, stand-alone VIP cinema in Don Mills, Ontario. It will cater exclusively to adults only and will feature valet parking. The theatre is expected to open in 2014.
VIP Cinemas Coming Soon:
- Cineplex Cinemas Marine Gateway & VIP - Vancouver, BC 
- Cineplex Cinemas Seton & VIP - Calgary AB 
- Galaxy Cinemas Saskatoon (to be rebranded as Scotiabank Theatre Saskatoon & VIP after VIP Cinemas opens) - Saskatoon, SK 
- Cineplex Cinemas Fairview Park & VIP - Kitchener, ON 
- Cineplex Cinemas Downtown Markham & VIP - Markham, ON 
- Cineplex Cinemas Yonge-Dundas & VIP - Toronto, ON 
- SilverCity Yonge-Eglinton Cinemas (to be rebranded as Cineplex Cinemas Yonge-Eglinton & VIP after VIP Cinemas opens) - Toronto, ON
- Cineplex VIP Cinemas at Shops at Don Mills - Toronto, ON 
Cineplex Odeon Cinemas
Cineplex Odeon Cinemas is the company's most widespread banner, with 76 locations as of October 2013. The newest locations feature a wide variety of movies and some branded concessions, although most locations (even those built through the late 1990s) have traditional concessions only. Locations run the gamut from small mall multiplexes to large, ultra-modern locations.
As of January 2013, new Cineplex Odeon theatres are being branded as Cineplex Cinemas, such as Empress Walk (originally a SilverCity), at Courtney Park, in Downtown Toronto at Yonge and Dundas, in Etobicoke at The Queensway and Islington, in Oakville at QEW and Winston Churchill, in Abbotsford at the Highstreet Shopping Centre, most of the Coliseums and in all of Atlantic Canada.
Galaxy Cinemas is the predominant brand in mid-sized markets where there has historically been little or no competition, even prior to the Cineplex-Famous Players merger. All have been built since the mid-1990s, although some were renovated from (or replaced) smaller Cineplex Odeon or Famous Players locations. These locations feature six or more screens, branded concessions and stadium-style seating, much like SilverCity. There are 35 Galaxy Cinemas locations as of June 2013. The Galaxy Saskatoon theatre will be rebranded as Scotiabank Theatre when the VIP expansion opens.
Famous Players and component brands
The Famous Players brand encompasses a number of different banners and theatre designs, many of which were developed during the chain's suburban expansion, including several new locations in power centres in the late 1990s. The Famous Players banner (by itself) is now primarily used on the chain's so-called "traditional" theatres, mostly in older downtown or mall locations, which have small numbers of screens and traditional concessions; 7 such locations remain, most having been supplanted by larger cinemas. Famous Players does not utilize digital technology, instead often still using 35mm film.
The group runs 25 SilverCity (French: StarCité) cinemas, medium- to large-size locations found in medium-sized cities, suburbs, or secondary neighbourhoods. These theatres are slightly larger than, but otherwise similar to, Galaxy locations. Although originated by Famous Players, Cineplex has continued to build new SilverCity complexes since their merger. The Yonge & Eglinton SilverCity will be rebranded as Cineplex Cinemas when the VIP expansion opens and the former SilverCity Mississauga opened in 1997, closed on May 1, 2014.
Four larger suburban Famous Players theatres originally fell under the Coliseum (French: Colisée) banner, and are notable for their round façade. This was the first of the branded concepts introduced by Famous Players in 1997. These locations are usually slightly larger than SilverCity theatres, and feature additional branded concessions. The last Coliseum is located (as of March 2014 that bears the name) in the Montreal suburb of Kirkland. Most Coliseums are rebranded and renamed to Cineplex Cinemas such as Mississauga, Scarborough in Scarborough Town Centre and the west end of Ottawa (Bayshore). (The former Coliseum Shawnessy in Calgary was acquired by Empire Theatres on September 30, 2005 which was later sold to Landmark Cinemas on October 29, 2013.)
Even larger are the three Colossus theatres; this format was developed in direct response to the entry of megaplex operator AMC Theatres into Canada. Colossus theatres are found in Laval, a suburb of Montreal; Vaughan, a suburb of Toronto; and Langley, a suburb of Vancouver.
Seven Cineplex complexes are branded Scotiabank Theatres (French: Cinémas Banque Scotia), as a side deal to a customer-loyalty program agreement made in 2007 between Cineplex and Scotiabank. Scotiabank Theatres are located in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Saskatoon, Halifax and St. John's. Most of these were originally built by Famous Players under the Paramount banner; however that name had to be discontinued as a condition of Viacom's sale of the chain.
Cineplex Entertainment currently operates 20 IMAX screens, which are located within seven SilverCity locations, six Cineplex Cinemas locations, four Scotiabank locations, two Colossus locations, and one Cineplex Odeon location.
The Cinema City brand is used at one location in Winnipeg and Edmonton that predominately show second-run films. The former Cinema City McGillivray was renamed to Cineplex Odeon McGillivray and VIP Cinemas in 2012.
Cineplex also owns a minority interest in Alliance Cinemas, in partnership with Alliance Films. At its peak the chain had five locations; three locations have been sold or closed, while the two remaining locations have been up for sale since summer 2005.
On February 15, 2013, Cineplex Entertainment announced that they would buy Festival Cinemas which included the Park Theatre and Fifth Avenue Cinemas. The sale was closed on March 1, 2013. 
The current Chief Executive Officer and President of Cineplex Entertainment is Ellis Jacob.
Ten Cineplex locations (five SilverCity, two Coliseum, one Cineplex Cinemas, one Galaxy and one Scotiabank Theatre) contain an XScape (stylized as "XSCAPE") Entertainment Centre. All of them feature an expanded arcade area and a prize centre. Tokens and tickets for games are loaded on a digital Xscape game card, which can be used at any XScape location. These cards are more reliable compared to traditional token coins and paper tickets. The newest one opened in May of 2014 at the Colossus Langley location.
It is possible to earn Scene points and bonus digital tokens when purchasing or refilling an XScape card at the prize centre. While all games deduct virtual tokens, only redemption games may award digital tickets to congratulate successful players.
Front Row Centre Events
In addition to showing films, Cineplex also shows a variety of alternative programming through their subsidiary Front Row Centre. This includes live broadcasts of theatre performances (Stratford, National Theatre Live), operas (MET Opera), concerts, and sporting events (WWE).
Launched in 2007, Scene (stylized SCENE) is the entertainment rewards program jointly owned by Scotiabank and Cineplex Entertainment. It is free to join and offers members points on movie tickets, Supertickets, Xscape credit, home video and select combo purchases at Cineplex.
Additionally, a 10% discount is offered on concession purchases and, since June 2012, on Tuesday movie ticket prices. Scene membership cards are also integrated in the Passbook application of Apple's iOS 6.
The Scene ScotiaCard (debit) and Scene Visa card allow Scene members to earn points outside of Cineplex properties.
Class Action Lawsuit
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (August 2013)|
A class action lawsuit against Cineplex Inc. was filed by Docken & Company in Calgary on November 14, 2012, on behalf of the class action representative plaintiff Matthew Starchuk. The statement of claim says he was charged full price despite advertising saying movie tickets are discounted on Tuesdays as part of a deal called Cineplex Tuesdays. The night that Starchuk and his brother went to see the Spider-Man sequel on July 3, 2011, it was opening in theatres across North America. The film grossed a record $35 million around the continent during that 24-hour period. Thousands of individuals have already joined the class action suit, all claiming similar incidents of being charged full price and not offered the discounted rate. Cineplex advertises on its website the following: "On Tuesdays, ticket prices for ALL performances (3D, UltraAVX, UltraAVX 3D, IMAX, IMAX 3D, VIP, VIP 3D or D-BOX) can be purchased at the Tuesday discounted rate." Since the lawsuit has been filed Cineplex Inc. revised their website stating the following: "On Tuesdays (subject to rare exception), ticket prices for all performances (3D, UltraAVX, UltraAVX 3D, IMAX, IMAX 3D, VIP, VIP 3D or D-BOX) can be purchased at the Tuesday discounted rate." Cineplex is alleged to have breached consumer protection statutes in Alberta and the rest of Canada; specifically the Fair Trading Act RSA 2000,cF-2, and the Competition Act RSC 1985,c C-34.The allegations have yet to be proven in court.
Cineplex has its own private label restaurants: OutTakes, and Poptopia. In recent years, the theatre chain aimed to promote its own restaurants while phasing out many former partners. Hershey candy is available throughout the chain. M&M's Mini are available as candies in kids' combos used to promote a kids' movie.
Restaurant partners include Burger King, Panago, Pizza Pizza, Starbucks, TCBY, Tim Hortons, Yogen Früz and YoYo's Yogurt Cafe. All but five Burger King restaurants have been closed, however, in favour of Cineplex promoting its OutTakes burger chain. Cineplex Entertainment replaced all stand-alone TCBY locations with Yogen Früz. TCBY remains available at Famous Players concession stands in theatres not served by Yogen Früz.
Many Cineplex theatres featured New York Fries restaurants in the past. Baskin-Robbins, Burger King and Yum! Brands (KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell) restaurants were also previously available in many Famous Players theatres acquired by Cineplex. All of these, save for Burger King restaurants in five theatres, are now closed.
- The Canadian "Paramount Theatre" chain was not affiliated with the American chain with the same name.
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- Yogen Fruz Goes to the Movies YogenFruz.com