|Galaxy Entertainment (1999-2003)
Cineplex Galaxy Income Fund (2003-2011)
Cineplex Galaxy (2003-2005)
|Traded as||TSX: CGX
|Predecessors||Famous Players, Inc.
Loews Cineplex Entertainment
|Founder||Ellis Jacob and Stephen Brown|
|Headquarters||1303 Yonge Street
|Ellis Jacob, President & CEO
Gord Nelson, Chief Financial Officer
Dan McGrath, Chief Operating Officer
Heather Briant, Senior Vice President, Human Resources
Jeff Kent, Chief Technology Officer
Michael Kennedy, Executive Vice President, Filmed Entertainment
Anne Fitzgerald, Chief Legal Officer
Patricia Marshall, Vice President, Communications and Investor Relations
|Revenue||CAN$ 1.010 billion (2010)|
|CAN$ 63.0 million (2010)|
Number of employees
Cineplex VIP Cinemas
|Subsidiaries||Cineplex Starburst Inc.
Famous Players LP
|Slogan||See The Big Picture|
Cineplex Inc. 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, Cineplex Starburst and Brady Starburst) and restoration (such as OutTakes and Poptopia).
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.[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 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. 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, 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.
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.
Cineplex Galaxy Income Fund, the owners of the chain, renamed Cineplex Galaxy LP to Cineplex Entertainment on October 3, 2005. 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.
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.
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. Cineplex Entertainment received Competition Bureau Approval 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. The sale was completed on October 24, 2013. On October 24 & 25, 2013, the theatres reopened as Cineplex Cinemas.
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.
In January 2015, Cineplex announced the development of a new entertainment restaurant chain known as The Rec Room; comparable to U.S. chains such as Dave & Buster's, they will feature restaurant, arcade, recreational game, and bar areas, and an auditorium that can be used for live entertainment, and sports/entertainment events on its cinema-style display. The first two locations will open in Edmonton (South Edmonton Common) and Calgary (Deerfoot Mall) in 2016, followed by a location in Toronto's Roundhouse Park in 2017.
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.
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.
Cineplex Entertainment features 206 premium screens: 109 large format screens, 41 D-Box screens (of which nine are combined with one of the aforementioned large format screens) and 56 VIP Cinemas 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. Only one of these, Cineplex Cinemas Markham and VIP, was built by Cineplex rather than acquired from another theatre chain. The screen size is from about 73 to 119 inches, depending on the venue.
- 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 67 Cineplex locations in all Canadian provinces, with the exception of Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island. UltraAVX screens are 66 feet wide, considerably larger than Cineplex's traditional ones. UltraAVX was initially powered by Christie Solaria 2230 DLP Cinema projectors but later upgraded to Solaria 4230 4K projectors. The theatres also feature a Dolby Digital 7.1 or a Dolby Atmos surround sound system, and in the case of the latter, "ATMOS" is annotated to presentations that feature it. Guests can reserve seats, which are extra wide rocking seats with high backs. In 11 of the 67 locations to feature UltraAVX, there are two such screens instead of only one.
- D-Box is a motion theatre offered at 41 locations in six provinces: 21 Cineplex (which includes one former Coliseum and all three former Colossus), one Galaxy, five Scotiabank, 13 SilverCity and one StarCité.
- Combining the two latter technologies is the D-Box UltraAVX option available at a dozen theatres: three with Dolby Digital 7.1 audio and nine with Dolby Atmos. It is the most expensive premium option for the general public. 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.
- VIP Cinemas is a brand used for adults-only movie screens. The minimum age of admission is determined by the province's legal drinking age. Cineplex offers this format at 16 locations in six provinces, and although most of these host three VIP Cinemas, three locations have four screens and another four locations have five screens. With the exception of the Varsity location, all VIP Cinemas offer reserved seating.
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.
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.
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
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 various purchases.
Cineplex has an Outtakes restaurant in 93 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. On January 1, 2014, Cineplex acquired a 50% stake in Yoyo's Yogurt Café. As of January 2015, 49 Cineplex theatres feature Yoyo's restaurants.
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. A small number of locations feature Coca-Cola Freestyle. Hot beverages include Starbucks as the incumbent provider with 105 locations, 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, with Brossard being the only location to offer both Tim Hortons and Starbucks. Van Houtte is the exclusive hot beverage provider in six locations, but it will be phased out for Starbucks.
Other current 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, but is now phased out with no comparable alternative other than wraps.
The current 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.
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 Amazing Spider-Man on Tuesday, July 3, 2012, 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.
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