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

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 (Front Row Centre Events), Cineplex Media, Cineplex Digital Solutions and the online sale of home entertainment content through 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 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 Odeon, SilverCity, Cinema City, Colossus, Famous Players, Galaxy Cinemas, Scotiabank Theatres, Cineplex Cinemas and Cineplex VIP Cinemas. Cineplex also owns and operates the UltraAVX, Poptopia, and Outtakes brands.


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.

Present day[edit]

SilverCity Richmond Hill Cinemas

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,[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]

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]

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.

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]

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.

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.[9]

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.[10][11] The sale was completed on October 24, 2013.[12] 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.

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 / Cineplex Odeon and SilverCity[edit]

Cineplex Cinemas (French: Cinémas Cineplex; known as Cineplex Odeon Cinemas for many pre-2013 locations) is the company's most widespread banner, with 87 locations as of June 2015. 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 range from small mall multiplexes to large, ultra-modern locations. Most locations are designated in larger populated cities.

The group runs 21 SilverCity cinemas outside of Quebec, plus two StarCité locations in the Gatineau and Montreal cities of Quebec. Although originated by Famous Players, Cineplex has continued to build new SilverCity complexes since their merger. Each theatre has 7 to 20 screens, with the majority having 10 or 12 screens. Twelve locations feature UltraAVX in one of their screens, while another four locations use UltraAVX for two of their screens. Seven locations feature IMAX Digital in one of their screens. Six locations feature an Xscape arcade. Several former SilverCity locations have since been rebranded as Cineplex Cinemas. The first SilverCity opened in 1997 was a Mississauga location, but closed on May 1, 2014.[13] Many of the SilverCity theatres (such as the St. Catharines location) were sold to Empire Theatres in 2005 (later owned by Landmark Cinemas).

Four larger suburban theatres were originally built by Famous Players under the Coliseum (French: Colisée) banner, and are notable for their round façade. The first location was opened in Mississauga on May 16, 1997.[14] Additional locations were opened throughout 1998 in Calgary, Ottawa and Scarborough. Three of the four Coliseums that were a part of the 2005 acquisition from then Cineplex Galaxy have since been rebranded and renamed to Cineplex Cinemas. All three feature 12 screens and an Xscape Entertainment Centre (13 and no Xscape at Mississauga), of which one is UltraAVX. One screen in Mississauga now features IMAX Digital, while one screen in Scarborough now features D-Box. 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.

Larger than Coliseum were Famous Players' three Colossus theatres. The brand focused on city suburbs and was built to challenge then-competitor AMC Theatres entry into the Canadian market. Each Colossus features 18 screens (19 in Langley), of which one is UltraAVX and another is D-Box. The theatres had a distinctive UFO design in their foyer. Colossus debuted on February 12, 1999 in the Vaughan suburb of North York in Toronto. One of its screens was the first IMAX 3D theatre in Ontario.[15] The second location featured an IMAX 2D theatre and opened in the Langley suburb of Vancouver on May 19, 1999.[16] The final Colossus was opened in the Laval suburb of Montreal on November 17, 2000, but is the only location to lack an IMAX theatre and an Xscape Entertainment Centre. All Colossus-branded locations were re-branded to Cineplex Cinemas in January and May 2015 respectively.

Famous Players and Galaxy[edit]

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 34 Galaxy Cinemas locations as of June 2013. The Galaxy Saskatoon theatre built in 2006 was rebranded as Scotiabank Theatre and VIP.

Famous Players logo

The Famous Players brand encompasses a number of different banners and theatre designs, many of which were developed during the chain's suburban expansion, such as power centres in the late 1990s. The Famous Players banner by itself is now primarily used on seven relatively "traditional" theatres, with three to ten screens and traditional concessions at each location. Except for the Prince Rupert location, each theatre has two to four RealD 3D digital screens.

Cineplex VIP Cinemas and Scotiabank Theatre[edit]

Cineplex currently has 14 Cineplex VIP Cinemas presented by Scotiabank. Cineplex debuted this purpose-built concept around 1998 at Cineplex Odeon Varsity & VIP in Toronto, Ontario. At most locations where they are present, VIP Cinemas exist as an enclosed space separate from the rest of the theatre. Prior to entering these spaces, tickets can be purchased at an exclusive box office. The VIP area itself has a stylized entrance, licensed lounge and bar with alcohol available to be served, alternative and traditional concessions food/drink products available in the lounge space, at a concession stand, and through in-theatre service. Due to the service of alcoholic beverages to guests, these spaces are only for guests who are 19+ (18+ in Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec). Inside each auditorium, there is reserved luxury seating complete (in most locations) with wide, leather, recliner-style seats and swing-out tray-tables.

Seven Cineplex complexes are branded Scotiabank Theatres. (An eighth location in Montreal is branded in French as Cinémas Banque Scotia, but upgraded to bilingual French/English signage in 2015.[17]) The name is based on the customer-loyalty program agreement made in 2007 between Cineplex and Scotiabank.[18] These are treated as a flagship theatre for their area/region, and represents a premium corporate brand within the company, offering corporate and group events to wealthier/privileged clientle (stockholders, company executives, etc.) in addition to the assorted amenities offered through Cineplex Entertainment locations of other brands. Each location features 9 to 17 screens, of which six to nine are RealD 3D screen, one or two (none in Halifax or St. John's) are UltraAVX and one (none in Saskatoon or Vancouver) is IMAX. Montreal, Toronto and Calgary feature D-Box as one of their screens. A licensed lounge serving alcohol is available at all locations except for Vancouver, Halifax and St. John's. The first four locations opened in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver by Famous Players as Paramount theatres.[19] Cineplex had to discontinue the Paramount branding when it acquired the theatres, so it rebranded them to Scotiabank. Another two theatres, Edmonton and Saskatoon, were formerly branded as SilverCity and Galaxy respectively. The Halifax and St. John's locations were originally owned by Empire Theatres, but were purchased by Cineplex and rebranded as Cineplex Cinemas in October 2013, then to Scotiabank Theatre in November 2014.


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.[20]


Digital IMAX and UltraAVX[edit]

Cineplex Entertainment currently operates 20 digital IMAX screens. Seven are in SilverCity, five are in Cineplex Cinemas, six Scotiabank Theatres and one is in Colossus.[21]

On June 30, 2010, an in-house cinema concept called UltraAVX made its public debut at two Toronto and Calgary locations. Today, this technology is available at 57 Cineplex locations in all Canadian provinces, with the exception of Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island.[22] UltraAVX screens are considerably larger than Cineplex's traditional ones, and they feature a Dolby Digital 7.1 or a Dolby Atmos surround sound system. Initially powered by Christie Solaria 2230 DLP Cinema projectors for digital and 3D presentations, these were later upgraded to Solaria 4230 4K projectors. Guests can reserve seats, which are extra wide rocking seats with high backs.[23] 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.[24]


XScape (stylized as "XSCAPE") Entertainment Centre is Cineplex's brand for its latest arcades. It is currently available at 19 cinemas. The game and prize count and selection varies by theatre. For example, the Niagara Falls location lacks a prize booth.[citation needed] Among the 19 cinemas, six carry the SilverCity banner, and five of the latter feature Xscape parties.[25]

Tokens and tickets for games are loaded on a digital Xscape game card, powered by Embed[26] and valid at any XScape location. These cards 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 virtual tokens, only redemption games may award digital tickets to congratulate successful players.

Many of the other locations continue to have Cinescape in some Cineplex Odeon locations as well as TechTown in many Famous Players theatres. Coins are 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. 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.[27] On January 1, 2014, Cineplex acquired a 50% stake in Yoyo's Yogurt Café.[28] As of January 2015, 49 Cineplex theatres feature Yoyo's restaurants.[29]

Current restaurant partners include Panago, Pizza Pizza (replacing Pizza Hut), Starbucks and Tim Hortons. Hershey candy is available throughout the chain. 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.

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 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.

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. ^ Empire Company Limited | Empire Company Announces Sale of Empire Theatres. (2013-06-27). Retrieved on 2013-12-09.
  10. ^
  11. ^ Concerns Result in Changes to Proposed Movie Theatre Merger. Competition Bureau (2013-10-10). Retrieved on 2013-12-09.
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ Mike Rivest. "Cineplex Cinemas Mississauga". Cinema Treasures. Retrieved April 27, 2015. 
  15. ^ Mike Rivest. "Cineplex Cinemas Vaughan". Cinema Treasures. Retrieved April 27, 2015. 
  16. ^ Mike Rivest. "Cineplex Cinemas Langley". Cinema Treasures. Retrieved April 27, 2015. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Scotiabank to put its name on Cineplex theatres". CBC News (CBC). 2007-01-24. Retrieved 2010-11-11. 
  19. ^ "Famous Players Paramount Theatres". Famous Players. Archived from the original on April 18, 2001. Retrieved May 3, 2015. 
  20. ^
  21. ^ Cineplex (December 19, 2014). "IMAX Locations". Retrieved December 19, 2014. 
  22. ^ Cineplex (December 19, 2014). "UltraAVX Locations". Retrieved December 19, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Cineplex Entertainment Expands UltraAVXTM in British Columbia" (Press release). Cineplex Entertainment. 2010-04-26. Retrieved 2011-07-20. 
  24. ^ Cineplex (December 19, 2014). "IMAX Locations". Retrieved December 19, 2014. 
  25. ^ "Xscape Parties". Cineplex. April 24, 2015. Retrieved April 24, 2015. 
  26. ^ "Cineplex taps Embed for Xscape Entertainment Centres". Embed-UK. June 2011. Retrieved April 25, 2015. 
  27. ^ Yogen Fruz Goes to the Movies
  28. ^ Cineplex (January 9, 2014). "Cineplex acquires 50 per cent stake in YoYo’s Yogurt Cafe" (PDF). Retrieved January 3, 2014. 
  29. ^ Yoyo's Yogurt Cafe. "Locations". Retrieved January 5, 2015. 

External links[edit]