List of Ottawa-Gatineau cinemas

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This is a list of movie theatres that have existed in the Ottawa & Gatineau, Canada region.

Currently Operating[edit]

Name Location Dates Screens Notes Image
Barrhaven Cinemas Cineplex Odeon 131 Riocan Avenue 2005– 7 Opened Oct. 21, 2005.
ByTowne Cinema 325 Rideau Street 1989– 1 Originally opened in 1947 as the Nelson Cinema. Since 1989, it has been Ottawa's main venue for foreign and independent films. In 1999, the seats from the Capitol Square Cinemas were installed. ByTowne Cinema Jan 05.jpg
Cinestarz! Orleans 250 Centrum Blvd, Orleans 2013- 6 Previously operated at the Mayfair Theatre (Orleans) and by Empire before that.
Coliseum Ottawa 3090 Carling Avenue 1998– 12 Originally owned by Famous Players, this was Ottawa's first modern megaplex when it opened in 1998.
Landmark Cinemas 24 Kanata 801 Kanata Avenue 2012– 24 Constructed by AMC Theatres, sold to Empire Theatres in 2012, and bought by Landmark in 2013. Landmark Cinemas Kanata is the largest cinema complex in Ottawa with 24 screens. Features an IMAX theatre.
Landmark Cinemas 10 Orleans 3752 Innes Road 2013– 10 Constructed by Empire Theatres in 2008 and bought by Landmark in 2013. Features an Empire Extra theatre.
Mayfair Theatre 1074 Bank Street 1932– 1 Today it is Ottawa's premier venue for second run films. It has gradually phased out its repertoire programming over the years, but still continues its tradition of screening the cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show every Halloween. Mayfair Theatre-thumb.jpg
Ottawa Family Cinema Notre Dame High School Auditorium on 710 Broadview Ave. 1977- 1 A volunteer-run, not-for-profit cinema that plays second-run and older movies on Friday's and Saturday's using a modern 3D Digital projector and Dolby Digital 7.1 sound. A 35mm projector is still on-hand but unused. 650 seat capacity.
Rainbow Cinemas St. Laurent Shopping Centre 1967– 5 A second run theater in the St. Laurent Shopping Centre. This five-screen cinema, originally opened as a single screen cinema, known as the St. Laurent Theatre, opened in 1967 and was a first run cinema. It was later converted to two screens and later to five screens, by taking over unoccupied space in the St. Laurent Shopping Centre. It was closed in 2001 and reopened as the Rainbow in 2005.
SilverCity Gloucester 2385 City Park Drive 16 Located in the city's east end this modern megaplex has 16 screens including one IMAX cinema and two Real D "3-D" projectors. One of Canada's busiest theatres by attendance. Owned and operated by Cineplex LP.
South Keys 2214 Bank Street 1995– 12 A modern multiplex built by Cineplex Odeon in the city's south end. This is the first theatre in the Ottawa with Stadium seating. This is the only multiplex cinema in Canada showing first run movies from 10 AM every day.

No Longer in Operation[edit]

Name Location Dates Screens Notes Image
Airport Drive-In McCarthy Road at Hunt Club Road 1970–1995 3 It opened on May 15, 1970 and closed around 1995. It had 3 screens and could hold approximately 1160 cars. It has been torn down and is now a national airport parking service lot.
Aladdin Drive-In 4004 Albion Road 1949–1995 1 It had room for approximately 480 cars. It is now an empty field.
Auto Sky Drive-In Fisher and Baseline Road 1949–1981 After the drive-in closed, a housing development was built on the vacant land.
The Avalon Bank Street in the Glebe 1928–1956 1 November 17, 1928-July 1947. The Avalon had 876 seats.

Renamed Glebe August 22, 1947-October 17, 1956. Now a hardware store.

Bennett's Vaudeville Theatre Sparks Street just west of Bank 1 In 1907, it became the first place in Ottawa to regularly show films.
Britannia Drive-In 3090 Carling Avenue 1949–1996 2 It was the last Drive-In in Ottawa when it closed in 1996. The Coliseum is built on its location.
Britannia 6 3090 Carling Avenue 1977–1998 6 The theatre and its parking lot were built on the land between the street and the back side of the screen for the Britannia Drive-In. The building was torn down after the Coliseum opened.
Capitol Cinema 90 Bank Street 1920–1970 1 Originally opened as Loews Theatre, the Capitol was Ottawa's largest and most ornate cinema for many decades. It opened in 1920 and was demolished in 1970. it had approximately 2,528 seats, the most ever for an Ottawa theatre. Live theatrical productions (e.g. A Midsummer Night's Dream) and live musical performances such as Louis Armstrong, the Who (Bootleg recording on October 15, 1969 is around), the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Jimi Hendrix and Cream (among many others) took place on its stage. Its auditorium was often used for political conventions. In 1964 there were plans to split it into 2 screens but this never happened. When the National Arts Centre was built, there was no longer any need for the Capitol's stage and auditorium to be used for live theatre or concerts. Capitol Auditorium.jpg
Capitol Square Cinemas 230 Queen Street 1972–1999 3 The Capitol Square 3 opened around 1972 and closed in 1999. It was operated by Famous Players.
Coliseum Ottawa 3090 Carling Avenue 1998– 12 Originally owned by Famous Players, this was Ottawa's first modern megaplex when it opened in 1998.
Eastview Theatre Montreal Road (on same site as the Vanier Cinema) Closed as a cinema in the 1950s, the building was used as a post office and then as an electrical parts store until demolished in the 1960s to be replaced in the 1970s by the building that housed the Vanier Cinema.
Elgin Theatre 216 Elgin Street 1937–1994 1, later 2 The Elgin opened in 1937 and 10 years later, a second theatre named the Little Elgin was opened next to it in the same building. Before closing in 1994, the two theatres were called the Elgin 1 and Elgin 2. The Elgin/Little Elgin was the first twin movie theatre in Canada. Elgin Theatre.JPG
Elmdale Theatre 1196 Wellington Street West 1947–1994 1 It opened on September 9, 1947 and was twinned (bowling-alley style) on October 23, 1981. It closed on August 25, 1994. It is now a church of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World congregation.
Landmark Cinemas World Exchange Plaza, 111 Albert Street, 3rd Floor 1991–2013 7 Opened 1991, Expanded 1994. Plays a mix of main stream and independent films. Previously run by Cineplex Odeon (1991-2005) and Empire Theatres (2005-2013). Landmark Cinemas were unable to renew the lease and the theatre is closed, although negotiations are being made with an unnamed movie theatre operator to try to reopen the movie theatre.
Français Theatre On the West side of Dalhousie Street between George Street and York Street. R. E. Maynard owned the Français, which had 999 seats. It was very popular with the kids during Saturday afternoon performances. They called the theatre “Frog”. It served as Ottawa's French language cinema until the 1960s when it was closed for repairs for many years and eventually demolished to make way for the construction of a Holiday Inn.
Gloucester Five Gloucester Centre, 1980 Ogilvie Road Closed in late March 2001. 5 Each of this cinema's auditoriums was named instead of numbered. According to an article in the Ottawa Citizen of March 21, 2001, the Gloucester Five's closure was largely due to its proximity to Silvercity Gloucester.
Imperial Theatre Bank Street 1914–1950s Is today home to Barrymore's.
Linden Theatre 5 Beechwood Avenue 1947–1968 Became the Towne Cinema in the 1970s and was eventually converted into a sports equipment store and then a drug store. For 25 cents on weekends, one could see five movies (usually horror, comedy or western).
Mall Theatre 116 Sparks Street 1915–1973 1 Originally The Centre Theatre which had 998 seats. It had no stairs to reach the upper seats, just ramps. During the second World War, a royal box was set up for Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, which was occupied by Nazi Germany. In June 1968 the theatre was renamed Mall and shown adult movies.
Nelson Cinema 325 Rideau Street 1947–1987 1 The Nelson Cinema occupied 940 seats. It closed in 1987 and was renovated and re-opened in 1989 as The ByTowne Cinema.
Odeon Theatre on West side of Bank Street between Slater Street and Laurier Avenue. A coal gas explosion in an office building behind the Odeon happened on October 25, 1958 killing 2 and destroying the back end of the theatre only hours before the cinema was to have been filled with Ottawa children for a Saturday morning of films for school safety patrols. As many as 600 could be killed had this been a working day.
Phoenix 413 Bank Street Closed in 1991 1 Operated by Cineplex Odeon, this theatre specialized in foreign films such as La historia official. The theatre was demolished shortly after it closed, and has been a gravel parking lot ever since (see Rialto listing below). Also known as Clarey and Fern.
Place de Ville Cinemas Place de Ville's underground shopping complex, 300 Sparks Street 1971–1996 2 Operated by Famous Players. According to an Ottawa Citizen article of August 14, 1999, these theatres still exist but remain empty and unused. This fall (2010) the former cinema space will be occupied by an exhibition company and public exhibits such as the Titanic and Body works will be on display.
Queensway Drive-In Montreal Road & Queensway East 1964–1985 2 Operated by Odeon. Now the site of an industrial park.
Regent Theatre Bank and Sparks 1916–1972 1 Currently the site of the Bank of Canada complex. In 1928 became the first theatre in Ottawa to play films with sound. It had 1056 seats.
Rexy Theatre 136 Lorne Street / 777 Somerset Street West Closed Opened as the Rex Theatre in 1914, in one of Ottawa's blue-collar neighbourhoods west of downtown, this theatre had the unusual distinction of being located on a residential side street.

Originally a small 300-seat nickelodeon, in 1927 it was renamed Rexy Theatre and completely remodelled into an atmospheric theatre. Seating was then expanded to 750 and a new front entrance was added on the main Somerset Street West, through the purchase of a retail space in an adjacent building.

It catered to the neighbourhood with B-movies and kids' serials until TV took its toll. The Rexy Theatre closed in 1954 and was demolished in 1956. The entrance was moved to 777 Somerset West in 1925.

Rialto 413 Bank Street 1943–1991 1 Opened by Odeon Theatres. Through the 1970s it fell into hard times, and was known colloquially as "the Rat Hole" due to a rodent infestation. It was purchased by Cineplex Odeon, renamed "The Phoenix," closed and quickly demolished in 1991. At the time of writing (2009) it is still an empty lot on Bank Street.
Rideau Centre Cinemas Rideau Centre, 50 Rideau Street 1983–2013 3 Originally owned by Famous Players and run by Empire, this theatre was located on the top level of the Rideau Centre and programmed movies aimed at the teenage demographic. Empire ceased operations at this theatre on March 21, 2013. It is possible that another company takes over this location, but this has yet to happen.[1]
Rideau Theatre 160 Rideau Street 1915–1982 1 Located on Rideau Street immediately to the west of where Dalhousie St. once ended. The building still stands and is divided into various retail stores. The long rectangular lobby of the Rideau Theatre was originally the Palace Theatre. The Palace Theatre became the lobby of the Rideau Theatre when a new auditorium was built behind the original Palace Theatre.
Somerset Theatre 386 Somerset Street West 1937–2000 1 It was demolished soon after to accommodate an expansion of a supermarket and its parking complex.
Star-Top Drive-In 1400 Cyrville Road 1949–1975 Opened in 1951 on Cyrville Road. It closed in 1974.
Strand Theatre 1265 Bank Street 1950–1954 1 After closing it became a bingo parlour, which was demolished in 2002 and replaced by a donut shoppe. AKA Flower Theatre.
Vanier Cineplex 150 Montreal Road 1980–1990s 7 This Cineplex Odeon theatre was located in a small shopping mall. It was a second-run theatre before closing in the mid 1990s.
Westboro Theatre 381 Richmond Road 1941–1955 Now home to the Ottawa Carleton Mortgage Inc.
Westgate Cinema Westgate Shopping Centre, 1309 Carling Avenue 1980–1999 3 The theatre showed first run movies for most of its existence and second run movies for two dollars before it closed in 1999. Currently occupied by a software development company that still uses one of the cinemas for meetings and presentations.

Outaouais[edit]

Current theatres
  • Cinéma 9 - Opened in the mid 1990s, this 9-screen theater plays usually the French version of movies since StarCite in Hull was opened. Located at the corner of Boulevard Maloney & De l'Hopital beside the former City Hall of the old city of Gatineau. It features a small arcade.
  • Cinéma Aylmer - Located inside the Galeries d'Aylmer shopping center with 4 screens.
  • Ciné-Parc Templeton - Drive-through theater located at 1779 Boulevard Maloney near the Gatineau Airport in the city's east end. Opened in the early 1990s, it has 2 screens, one in French and the other in English.
  • StarCité Hull - Opened in the late 1990s in Le Plateau. This 16-screen theater is the biggest on the Quebec side of the National Capital Region. It has a large arcade area with games such as In The Groove 2. Located at on Boulevard du Plateau near the junction of Boulevard Saint-Raymond & De l'Outaouais. Formerly owned by Famous Players, it was sold along with 6 other Quebec locations to Fortune Cinemas in 2006 to satisfy a regulatory requirement to complete the merger with Cineplex Entertainment. In 2010, Cineplex Entertainment acquired the assets of the bankrupt Fortune Cinemas chain, including StarCite Hull and the 6 other former Cineplex theatres previously divested.
Former theatres
  • Cinéma Place-Cartier 119 Place du Portage in Hull. Opened in 1937, it was the grandest cinema in the Outaouais. It was sold by Famous Players in 1968 and became a pornography theatre before it was purchased by the City of Hull in order to put it out of business in 1991. Currently the offices of a training company.
  • Cinéma Vendôme 425 Boul St Joseph in Hull. It was an exploitation grindhouse before closing in the early 1980s.
  • Pussycat Cinema Directly across the street from the Vendôme, at 424 Boul St Joseph in Hull, this pornography cinema also closed at about the same time.
  • Cinéma l'Amour This pornography theatre was located at 569 Boul St. Joseph in Gatineau, but closed in the early 1980s.
  • Cinéma de Paris 185 rue Laval in Hull. An independent neighbourhood theatre, opened in 1949, that screened films from Europe in French only. In later years it screened mainstream Hollywood films dubbed into French, including each title in the original Star Wars trilogy. It was shuttered in 1986 and stayed closed for ten years before reopening as an assisted living complex called Mon Chez Nous.
  • Ciné-Starz Located inside Les Promenades de l'Outaouais shopping centre. A 4-screen theater is located inside the shopping centre. It also features a small arcade with games like In The Groove 2.(Closed) November 2013

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stoesser, John (March 11, 2013). "Empire Theatre drops curtain on Rideau Centre screens". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved March 12, 2013. 
Bibliography
  • Miguelez,, Alain. (2004), A Theatre Near You: 150 Years of Going to the Show in Ottawa-Gatineau., Manotick, Ontario: Penumbra Press, 
  • Watt, R. M. (1992), Ottawa’s heritage of theatre. Bytown pamphlet series., Ottawa, Ontario: The Historical Society of Ottawa 

External links[edit]