Cineplex Entertainment

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Cineplex Inc.
  • Galaxy Entertainment
  • Cineplex Galaxy Income Fund (2003-2011)
  • Cineplex Galaxy (2003-2005)
Traded as
Founded1999; 20 years ago (1999)
FounderEllis Jacob and Stephen Brown
Number of locations
Area served
RevenueIncrease CAD$ 1.555 Billion (2017)[1]
Decrease CAD$ 97.83 Million (2017)[1]
Decrease CAD$ 70.34 Million (2017)[1]
Total assetsIncrease CAD$ 1.855 Billion (2017)[1]
Total equityDecrease CAD$ 711.77 Million (2017)[1]
Number of employees
Over 10,000[2]

Cineplex Inc. (formerly known as Cineplex Galaxy Income Fund and Galaxy Entertainment Inc.) is a Canadian entertainment company headquartered in Toronto, Ontario.

Through its operating subsidiary Cineplex Entertainment LP, Cineplex operates 162 theatres across Canada. The company operates theatres under numerous brands, including Cineplex Cinemas, Cineplex Odeon, SilverCity, Galaxy Cinemas, Cinema City, Famous Players, Scotiabank Theatres and Cineplex VIP Cinemas. Cineplex also owns and operates multiple brands for entertainment (such as UltraAVX, Xscape Entertainment Centre, Player One Amusement Group) and restaurants (such as OutTakes and Poptopia). It is also a joint partner in the Scene loyalty program with Scotiabank.


Predecessors: 1912 - 1979[edit]

Cineplex 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.[4][nb 1] Nathanson, along with being the 5th richest person in the world, became the first president of the resulting entity, Famous Player Canadian Corporation.[5] In 1923, Famous Players bought out rival Allen Theatres, acquiring many buildings in the process .[6]

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

Early years: 1999 - 2005[edit]

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. In October 2003, Loews Cineplex Entertainment (a 1998 merger of Cineplex Odeon and Sony's Loews Theatres in 1998) underwent bankruptcy in 2001 due to the economic recession of the early 2000s,[7] and 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.

Growth: 2005 - 2013[edit]

Famous Players Pickering remains in operation as of 2017.

On June 13, 2005, Cineplex Galaxy 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.[citation needed]

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 operated 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.[8]

Cineplex Galaxy Income Fund, the owners of the chain, renamed Cineplex Galaxy LP to Cineplex Entertainment on October 3, 2005.[9] In 2011, Cineplex Galaxy became Cineplex Inc.

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.[10]

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.

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.

In December 2012, Cineplex Entertainment opened its first VIP cinema outside Ontario, and the first Cineplex built from the start as a VIP cinema was in Edmonton, Alberta, in the SW neighborhood of Windermere in the Windermere (area). 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.

2013-present: Expansion, VIP Cinemas[edit]

The Lansdowne location that Empire Theatres announced in 2011 was acquired by Cineplex in 2014 and opened in 2015.

On June 27, 2013, Empire Company announced that it would sell or close its Empire Theatres chain to focus on its retail and real estate operations (including Sobeys, which earlier in the month had agreed to purchase Safeway's Canadian operations). To that end, Empire Theatres wound down its operations and sold or closed all of its theatres.[11] Cineplex Entertainment announced the purchase of 24 Empire Theatres locations in Atlantic Canada that same day. 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.[12] Cineplex Entertainment received Competition Bureau Approval to buy 24 Empire Theatres in Atlantic Canada for approximately C$194 million on October 10, 2013.

The Empire Theatres in Atlantic Canada closed on October 22, 2013 after the evening shows[13][14] and the sale was completed on October 24, 2013.[15] On October 24 & 25, 2013, the theatres reopened as Cineplex Cinemas. Following the sale of Empire Theatres operations to Cineplex and Landmark Cinemas, Cineplex became the only significant chain in Atlantic Canada, a role previously held by Empire only. At first, the Empire Kanata and Whitby Theatres were to be sold to Cineplex, but were sold to Landmark Cinemas instead. In lieu of the Kanata location, Cineplex later acquired the rights to Empire's planned 10-screen Lansdowne Park location in Ottawa.

On November 1, 2013, Empire Company announced the completion of the sale of Empire Theatres to Cineplex & Landmark.[16]

In the 2010s, Cineplex began to deploy a new concept, "VIP Cinemas", at selected locations, featuring premium amenities such as reclining seats, in-seat meal services, and a licensed lounge. On August 15, 2014, Cineplex opened a dedicated VIP Cinemas Don Mills location, the first to be devoted solely to the format.[17][18] By 2017, the company had also begun to retrofit selected non-VIP auditoriums to feature reclining seating, as part of an effort to improve the customer experience.[19]


Theatre chains[edit]

Cineplex operates cinemas using the following banners: Cineplex Cinemas (known as Cineplex Odeon Cinemas for many pre-2013 locations), Cineplex VIP Cinemas, Scotiabank Theatre, SilverCity (French: StarCité), Galaxy, Famous Players, 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 formats[edit]

Selected Cineplex locations offer premium screens and features for a higher ticket price, including large-screen formats, motion seats, and VIP. Following the premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Cineplex reported that at least 80% of customers watched the film with one of its premium formats, and 40% of the company's overall box office revenue came from premium formats.[20]

  • Prime Seats are reserved seating rows in selected auditoriums, near the middle of the audience. They were first piloted in Ontario in 2014, before receiving a wider roll-out.[21][22]
  • The company currently operates 24 digital IMAX screens. Only one of these, Cineplex Cinemas Markham and VIP, was built by Cineplex rather than acquired from another theatre chain.[23] The screen size is from about 73[24] to 119[25] feet, depending on the venue. As of July 2017, five Cineplex locations offer IMAX 70 mm film playback: both Scotiabank Theatre locations in Alberta, plus the Langley location (former Colossus) in Metro Vancouver, and the Mississauga and Vaughan locations (former Coliseum and Colossus, respectively) in the Greater Toronto Area.[26]
  • UltraAVX auditoriums feature a larger "wall-to-wall" screen with 4K projectors, Dolby Atmos surround sound, and reserved seating .[27][28][20]
  • D-Box seats are available at selected locations, which offer motion effects synchronized with the film.[29][30] About a dozen locations offer D-Box on UltraAVX screens.[citation needed]
  • VIP Cinemas refer to screens featuring a premium, adult-oriented experience. They feature reserved seating, leather reclining seats with tables, a "VIP Lounge" lobby area with a licensed bar, and in-seat meal services offering snacks and other premium menu options. Access to VIP Cinemas are restricted by the legal drinking age; depending on local liquor laws, some locations also allow consumption of alcohol inside the cinema proper (otherwise only allowing them to be consumed in the VIP Lounge). VIP Cinemas are offered at selected flagship locations, and Cineplex has also constructed several locations devoted exclusively to the format.[31][32][33]
  • 4DX, a 4D film format, launched at Cineplex Cinemas Yonge-Dundas on November 4, 2016. It debuted alongside the premiere of Doctor Strange as Canada's first cinema screen to feature the technology. 4DX includes stereoscopic 3D, as well as seat motion and other practical effects such as wind, strobes, and smell among others.[34]

Arcades and amusement[edit]

Most Cineplex locations feature arcade areas under various brands. In June 2009, Cineplex began to deploy a new concept known as Xscape Entertainment Centre, incorporating it into new locations or refurbishing existing locations to utilize the format. There are 28 locations as of September 30, 2017.[35] Xscape feature both redemption games and traditional games, with some locations also including a licensed lounge and party rooms. The centres utilize card systems to store credits and points for prizes, and offers for Scene rewards users.[36] About 77 other Cineplex locations continue to have a Cinescape arcade, replacing the TechTown brand previously deployed by Famous Players and Playdium.[37]

In January 2015, Cineplex announced a new entertainment restaurant chain known as The Rec Room. Comparable to Dave & Buster's, which operates two locations in the province of Ontario, The Rec Room features restaurant and bar areas, recreational game areas, simulators, and an auditorium equipped with a cinema-style screen.[38] Cineplex CEO Ellis Jacob explained that the chain is meant to help the company diversify beyond its core cinema business in the wake of the growing streaming industry,[39] The first location opened in South Edmonton Common in 2016. A second location in Toronto's Roundhouse Park opened in June 2017, along with a second Edmonton location at West Edmonton Mall.[40][41] Cineplex aims to open 10-15 locations of The Rec Room nationally, ranging in size from 30,000 to 60,000 square feet.[38][42][43][44] Further locations were announced for Brentwood Town Centre in Burnaby, Masonville Place in London, Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga,[45] Avalon Mall in St. Johns, and Seasons of Tuxedo in Winnipeg.[46][47][48]

Cineplex owns Playdium, a major arcade and family entertainment centre in Mississauga, Ontario.[49] On October 2, 2017, Cineplex announced that it would re-launch the Playdium brand as a new entertainment restaurant chain.[50]

Virtual reality[edit]

D-Box VR theatre at Xscape in Scotiabank Theatre Ottawa

In November 2017, an IMAX VR centre opened at Scotiabank Theatre Toronto, as IMAX VR's first location in Canada. The following month, a D-Box VR experience launched at the Ottawa location.[51][52]

In July 2018, after having opened such an attraction at The Rec Room at Roundhouse Park, Cineplex Entertainment announced that it had reached an agreement to be the exclusive Canadian franchisee of The Void — a chain of mixed reality entertainment attractions.[53]

On September 13, 2018, Cineplex announced that it would acquire a stake in VRStudios—a Seattle-based provider of virtual reality installations, and utilize its equipment for as many as 40 VR centres across the country.[54]


Launched in 2007, Scene is the entertainment rewards program jointly owned by Scotiabank and Cineplex Entertainment.


Cineplex has an Outtakes restaurant in 94 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 22 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.[55] On January 1, 2014, Cineplex acquired a 50% stake in Yoyo's Yogurt Café.[56] As of January 2017, 77 Cineplex theatres feature Yoyo's restaurants, while Yogen Fruz is still available in 23 Cineplex theatres while TCBY is available in 16 locations.[57]

Beverages are available in both cold and hot formats. Cold beverages include the Coca-Cola lineup, which replaced the Pepsi lineup used at locations formerly owned by Famous Players. 12 locations feature Coca-Cola Freestyle.[58] Hot beverages include Starbucks as the incumbent provider with 105 locations,[59] all which offer Pike Place Roast coffee (regular or decaf) and Tazo tea. Select locations also offer premium drinks such as caffè mocha or caramel macchiato. Tim Hortons is available as a full-service restaurant in five locations,[60] with Brossard being the only location to offer both Tim Hortons and Starbucks.[61] The previous incumbent provider was Van Houtte, which is now[when?] phased out at all but two locations.[62]

Other current[when?] partners include Panago and Pizza Pizza (replacing Pizza Hut). 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. Taco Bell was previously available at some Cineplex locations acquired by Famous Players.[citation needed]

Corporate governance[edit]

The current[when?] Chief Executive Officer and President of Cineplex Entertainment is Ellis Jacob. Alongside with Jacob are Jordan Banks who serves as a Facebook executive, Robert Bruce, Joan Dea, Ian Greenberg, the founder of Astral Media, Sarabjit S. Marwah, Anthony Munk, Edward Sonshine, Robert J. Steacy and Phyllis Yaffe, who serves as its chair.

Logo history[edit]

See also[edit]


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


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  6. ^ "The Allen Family". Silent Cinema in Quebec.
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  55. ^ Yogen Fruz Goes to the Movies
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External links[edit]