Cineplex Entertainment

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"Cineplex Odeon" redirects here. For the defunct corporation, see Cineplex Odeon Corporation.
Cineplex Inc.
Formerly called
Galaxy Entertainment (1999-2003)
Cineplex Galaxy Income Fund (2003-2011)
Cineplex Galaxy (2003-2005)
Industry Film exhibitor
Digital advertising
Predecessors Famous Players, Inc.
Loews Cineplex Entertainment
Founded 1999
Founder Ellis Jacob and Stephen Brown
Headquarters 1303 Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario M4T 2Y9
, Canada
Area served
Key people
Ellis Jacob, President & CEO
Revenue Increase CAN$ 1.010 billion (2010)
Increase CAN$ 63.0  million (2010)
Number of employees
Over 10,000[1]
Divisions Cineplex Odeon
Famous Players
Cinema City
Scotiabank Theatre
Cineplex Cinemas
Cineplex VIP Cinemas
Subsidiaries Cineplex Starburst Inc.
Famous Players LP
Cineplex in Toronto

Cineplex Inc. (TSXCGX); formerly known as Cineplex Galaxy Income Fund and Galaxy Entertainment Inc. is one of Canada’s largest entertainment companies and operates numerous businesses including movie theatres, food services, gaming, alternative programming, and the online sale of home entertainment content. Cineplex is also a joint venture partner in SCENE – Canada’s largest entertainment loyalty program.

Through its operating subsidiary Cineplex Entertainment LP, Cineplex operates 162 theatres with 1,640 screens in all 10 Canadian provinces from coast to coast, serving approximately 71 million guests annually through the following theatre brands: Cineplex Cinemas, Cineplex Odeon, SilverCity, Galaxy Cinemas, Cinema City, Famous Players, Scotiabank Theatres and Cineplex VIP Cinemas. Cineplex also owns and operates its own brands for entertainment (such as UltraAVX, Xscape Entertainment Centre and Cineplex Starburst) and restoration (such as OutTakes and Poptopia).



Early development[edit]

Although 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.[2][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.[3] In 1923, Famous Players bought out rival Allen Theatres, acquiring many buildings in the process .[4]

In 1979, Garth Drabinsky and Nat Taylor, opened its first "Cineplex" theatre complex Toronto Eaton Centre.


SilverCity Richmond Hill Cinemas

Galaxy Enterprise[edit]

The present enterprise, known as Galaxy Entertainment Inc. was established in 1999 by Ellis Jacob, a former Chief Operating Officer of Loews Cineplex Entertainment, and Stephen Brown, a former Cineplex Chief Financial Officer. With investments from Onex Corporation 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.

Formation of Cineplex Galaxy Income Fund[edit]

In October 2003, Loews Cineplex Entertainment, which was a merger of Cineplex Odeon and Sony's Loews Theatres in 1998, who went bankrupt in 2001 due to the economic recession of the early 2000s,[5] consolidated 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.[citation needed]

Acquisition of Famous Players[edit]

On June 13, 2005, Cineplex Galaxy Income Fund announced its acquisition of Famous Players 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.

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.[6]

Renamed to Cineplex Entertainment[edit]

Cineplex Galaxy Income Fund, the owners of the chain, renamed Cineplex Galaxy LP to Cineplex Entertainment on October 3, 2005.[7] In 2011, Cineplex Galaxy became Cineplex Inc.

Sale of Theatres in Quebec[edit]

Cineplex Entertainment announced on March 31, 2006 that it had sold seven more theatres in Quebec to Chelsea-based Fortune Cinemas Inc. 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.[8]

Acquisition of Fortune Cinema theatres[edit]

With the bankruptcy of Fortune Cinemas, Cineplex Entertainment acquired (or in this case, re-acquired) some of Fortune Cinemas theatres. The Starcité Gatineau (Starcité Hull) and the Cavendish theaters were reopened as Cineplex Entertainment theatres.


Purchase of Yonge Dundas 24[edit]

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.

Class Action Lawsuit[edit]

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 Tuesday, July 3, 2012,[9] 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. A settlement was reached whereby Cineplex will donate $20,000 to a charity and reimburse the plaintiffs $7,000.[10]

Opened first VIP cinema[edit]

In December 2012, Cineplex Entertainment opened its first VIP cinema outside Ontario, and the first Cineplex built from the start as a VIP cinema in Edmonton, Ab: Cineplex Odeon Windermere VIP. It was also the first Cineplex to be 18+ VIP. Cineplex reopened a theater in Coquitlam, B.C that had been renovated to host 19+ VIP, shortly after.

Purchase of Empire Theatres[edit]

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.[11] Cineplex Entertainment received Competition Bureau Approval on On October 10, 2013 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.[12][13] The sale was completed on October 24, 2013.[14] On October 24 & 25, 2013, the theatres reopened as Cineplex Cinemas.

Opening of Cineplex VIP Cinemas Don Mills[edit]

On August 15, 2014, Cineplex Entertainment opened Cineplex VIP Cinemas Don Mills, located at Shops at Don Mills. While several Cineplex Entertainment locations have spaces within them dedicated to the 19+ VIP Experience, this was the first location of its kind, designed exclusively for the 19+ VIP Experience, complete with valet parking, 5 VIP screens, and all the other amenities that typically come with the Cineplex VIP Experience.

Operations and brands[edit]

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.

Theatre chains[edit]

Cineplex Cinemas Lansdowne & VIP, Ottawa

Cineplex operates cinemas using the following banners: Cineplex Cinemas (known as Cineplex Odeon Cinemas for many pre-2013 locations), SilverCity (French: StarCité), Galaxy, Famous Players, Cineplex VIP Cinemas, Scotiabank Theatre and Cinema City. The Coliseum (French: Colisée) and Colossus banners have been phased out in favour of the Cineplex Cinemas banner, but the unique architectural features of these theatres has been preserved.

Premium theatres[edit]

Cineplex box office.

Cineplex Entertainment features over 88 premium screens. These require more Scene points or an additional cost compared to a regular admission, but offer both the option of a larger screen and a motion theatre where available.

The company currently operates 23 digital IMAX screens. Ten are in Cineplex Cinemas, seven are in SilverCity and six are in Scotiabank Theatres.[15] The majority of installations were acquired from former competitors: four of the Cineplex were formerly owned by AMC Theatres, eight (two SilverCity, two Cineplex formerly known as Colossus and four Scotiabank Theatres those) theatres were formerly owned by Famous Players, two Scotiabank Theatre locations were formerly owned by Empire Theatres and the Galeries de la Capitale location was formerly independent.

UltraAVX is a large screen theatre concept created by Cineplex. It premiered on June 30, 2010 at two Toronto and Calgary locations. Today, this technology is available at 65 Cineplex locations in all Canadian provinces, with the exception of Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island.[16] UltraAVX screens are 66 feet wide,[17] considerably larger than Cineplex's traditional ones. They also feature a Dolby Digital 7.1 or a Dolby Atmos surround sound system. Initially powered by Christie Solaria 2230 DLP Cinema projectors for digital presentations, these were later upgraded to Solaria 4230 4K projectors. Guests can reserve seats, which are extra wide rocking seats with high backs.[18] As of November 2013, some Cineplex theatres have two UltraAVX screens in one theatre building. One UltraAVX screen features Dolby Atmos audio while the other features Dolby 7.1 audio.

D-Box is a motion theatre offered at 25 locations in five provinces: ten Cineplex, all three Colossus, one Galaxy, three Scotiabank and eight SilverCity.[19]

Combining the two latter technologies is the D-Box UltraAVX option available at select theatres. It is the most expensive premium option. As the name implies, these consist of motion-enabled seats located within premium UltraAVX theatres. Some locations charge a premium for 3D movies, while others such as Lansdowne do not.


Xscape Entertainment Centre locations use a card reader system instead of tokens and tickets on their amusement arcade games.

XScape (stylized as "XSCAPE") Entertainment Centre is Cineplex's brand for its latest arcades. It is currently available at 21 cinemas: twelve Cineplex (of which six are former Coliseum and Colossus locations), five SilverCity, two Galaxy and two Scotiabank Theatre. The SilverCity locations have the most amenities: all but the Fairview Mall location join Cineplex Cinemas Oakville (a former SilverCity) in featuring Xscape parties. In addition, the Newmarket location features Ping Pong in the lounge.[20]

Play credit and tickets for games are loaded on a digital Xscape game card, which can be used at any XSCAPE location across the country. These are more reliable compared to traditional token coins and paper tickets. 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 play credit, only redemption games may award digital tickets to congratulate successful players.

In January 2015, Cineplex announced the launch of the The Rec Room, a new concept that combines arcade games and live performances that is similar to the way Dave & Buster's operates. The first location is expected to open in South Edmonton Common in Edmonton in Spring 2016, followed by the Deerfoot Mall location in Calgary afterwards.

Many other locations continue to have Cinescape in some Cineplex Odeon locations as well as TechTown in both current and former Famous Players theatres. Coins for both brands are interchangeable and valid at any location that accepts them.

Front Row Centre Events[edit]

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 and later.

The Scene ScotiaCard (debit) and Scene Visa card allow Scene members to earn points outside of Cineplex properties.


The current Chief Executive Officer and President of Cineplex Entertainment is Ellis Jacob.


Cineplex has an OutTakes restaurant in 88 theatres, some which replace previous restaurant partners (Burger King, KFC and New York Fries) and others which introduce restaurants at locations which did not previously feature one. VIP Cinemas and some Xscape locations feature a licensed lounge with more premium offerings compared to OutTakes. Poptopia is a flavoured popcorn restaurant offered in a full-service format at ten locations. Other Cineplex theatres may feature Poptopia at the concession stand, but only in the caramel corn and/or kettle corn flavours.

Ice cream at Cineplex locations debuted with Baskin-Robbins and TCBY. Beginning in December 2007, Yogen Früz became the preferred partner.[21] On January 1, 2014, Cineplex acquired a 50% stake in Yoyo's Yogurt Café.[22] As of January 2015, 49 Cineplex theatres feature Yoyo's restaurants.[23]

Current partners include Panago, Pizza Pizza (replacing Pizza Hut), Starbucks and Tim Hortons. Chocolates and candies from Mars is available throughout the chain, replacing the previous supplier, Hershey. M&M's Mini are available as candies in kids' combos used to promote a kids' movie. Since early 2007, Coca-Cola has been the exclusive soft drink supplier to Cineplex theatres. Taco Bell was previously available at Cineplex, but is now phased out with no comparable alternative.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Canadian "Paramount Theatre" chain was not affiliated with the American chain with the same name.


  1. ^ "Company Profile for Cineplex Galaxy Income Fund (CA;CGX.UN)". Retrieved 2008-10-14. 
  2. ^ Cineplex Entertainment (2012-01-18). "Cineplex Celebrates 100 Years of Movie Memories". Retrieved 2013-06-27. 
  3. ^ Moore, Paul S. (Fall 2003). "Nathan L. Nathanson Introduces Canadian Odeon: Producing national competition in film exhibition" (PDF). Canadian Journal of Film Studies 12 (2): 22–45. Retrieved 2010-11-11. 
  4. ^ "The Allen Family". Silent Cinema in Quebec. 
  5. ^ Wise, Wyndham (May 2001). "From The Editor". Take One (Canadian Independent Film & Television Publishing Association) 10 (32): 7. ISSN 1192-5507. Retrieved 2010-11-11. 
  6. ^ Cineplex buys 4 AMC theatres in Canada, including Yonge-Dundas location | Toronto Star. (2012-06-22). Retrieved on 2013-12-09.
  7. ^ "Introducing Cineplex Entertainment A New Name for Cineplex Galaxy LP" (Press release). Cineplex Entertainment. 2005-10-03. Retrieved 2010-11-11. 
  8. ^ "Cineplex adds to theatres portfolio". Toronto Star (Toronto: Toronto Star). Canadian Press. 2007-06-29. Retrieved 2010-08-31. 
  9. ^ "Suit launched against Cineplex over Tuesday discount". Retrieved 2015-07-09. 
  10. ^ "" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-07-09. 
  11. ^ Empire Company Limited | Empire Company Announces Sale of Empire Theatres. (2013-06-27). Retrieved on 2013-12-09.
  12. ^
  13. ^ Concerns Result in Changes to Proposed Movie Theatre Merger. Competition Bureau (2013-10-10). Retrieved on 2013-12-09.
  14. ^
  15. ^ Cineplex (December 19, 2014). "IMAX Locations". Retrieved December 19, 2014. 
  16. ^ Cineplex (December 19, 2014). "UltraAVX Locations". Retrieved December 19, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Cineplex Entertainment Coliseum - clean-up". CTV News Ottawa. February 13, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Cineplex Entertainment Expands UltraAVXTM in British Columbia" (Press release). Cineplex Entertainment. 2010-04-26. Retrieved 2011-07-20. 
  19. ^ Cineplex (December 19, 2014). "IMAX Locations". Retrieved December 19, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Xscape Parties". Cineplex. April 24, 2015. Retrieved April 24, 2015. 
  21. ^ Yogen Fruz Goes to the Movies
  22. ^ Cineplex (January 9, 2014). "Cineplex acquires 50 per cent stake in YoYo’s Yogurt Cafe" (PDF). Retrieved January 3, 2014. 
  23. ^ Yoyo's Yogurt Cafe. "Locations". Retrieved January 5, 2015. 

External links[edit]