Scotiabank Theatre Toronto

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Scotiabank Theatre Toronto
Scotiabank Theatre Toronto.JPG
The theatre's main entrance
Scotiabank Theatre Toronto is located in Toronto
Scotiabank Theatre Toronto
Scotiabank Theatre Toronto
Location of Scotiabank Theatre in Toronto
Former namesParamount Theatre (1999-2005)
Location259 Richmond Street West
Toronto, Ontario
M5V 3M6
CoordinatesCoordinates: 43°38′55″N 79°23′28″W / 43.648622°N 79.391241°W / 43.648622; -79.391241
OwnerNational Amusements (1998–2005)
Cineplex Entertainment
OperatorFamous Players Limited Partnership
Seating typeStadium seating
Capacity4500 seats[1]
Broke ground1997[1]
OpenedMay 19, 1999[2]
ArchitectMichael Kirkland[2]

The Scotiabank Theatre Toronto (formerly Paramount Theatre Toronto) is a major movie theatre at the RioCan Hall in the Entertainment District of downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada at Richmond and John Street owned by Cineplex Entertainment and opened in 1999.[2] The venue screens theatrical films throughout the year, but is best known as one of the major venues for the annual Toronto International Film Festival alongside the nearby TIFF Bell Lightbox.


Scotiabank Theatre Toronto has a total of 14 auditoriums, including one with an IMAX screen, six with 3D screen, one UltraAVX auditorium with D-Box and a Barco Escape auditorium. The auditoriums and amenities are located on the third floor of the complex, accessed by escalator and elevator. The box office and the theatre entrance is located on Richmond Street West. The box office and escalator areas were decorated with large spaceships from the Star Trek series of films, but the ships were removed and disposed of in August, 2018.


The theatre's RioCan Hall complex in 2018

The theatre opened on May 19, 1999 as the Paramount Theatre Toronto with the release of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. The multiplex opened with 14 screens and 4,500 seats, and Toronto's first 3-D IMAX screen.[2] The Paramount Theatre banner was the trademark of Paramount Pictures, the film studio of the former owner Famous Players' parent company Viacom. In 2005, Viacom sold Famous Players to Cinema Galaxy Income Fund — owner of Cineplex Galaxy Cinemas — creating the company Cineplex Entertainment. The theatre was rebranded as Scotiabank Theatre Toronto, under a sponsorship arrangement with Canadian bank Scotiabank.

The theatre was built as part of the CA$$70 million RioCan Hall complex (formerly Festival Hall)[2] and planning for the complex and theatre started in 1994.[2] The RioCan Hall[3] also contains a Milestones Grill and Bar, and а Marshalls store. Until May 2014, the space housed a flagship[3] Chapters store.[4] From October 2007 until early 2010, the hall also housed CiRCA nightclub. Before CiRCA, the first tenant was the Playdium family entertainment centre.[3] Though the nightclub and entertainment centre are now closed, Playdium also opened a smaller TechTown arcade in the movie theatre, which remains operational to this day as a Cinescape arcade.

The theatre hosts the Toronto After Dark Film Festival annually. The festival moved to the Scotiabank Theatre in 2013. The festival is a showcase of horror, sci-fi, action and cult cinema.

The venue opened with a film-based IMAX 3D projector. In recent years, this was replaced to feature an IMAX with Laser projector instead. The laser projection system was the first in Canada and one of two in North America. One of the auditoriums was upgraded to UltraAVX by December 2010.[5] This screen is about 1.32 times larger than a regular movie screen. Later, this auditorium had D-Box motion seats installed as an optional upgrade. Another auditorium was converted to the Barco Escape premium large format in July 2016, as one of three Cineplex locations to add the format. Star Trek Beyond was the first film played in this auditorium, with 20 minutes of the film being optimized for this format.[6][7]

In November 2017, an IMAX VR virtual reality centre opened at Scotiabank Theatre Toronto, as the pilot program's first location in Canada. The centre included several cubicles offering access to VR games and experiences, using either HTC Vive or StarVR hardware.[8][9] In December 2018, IMAX announced that it would be shuttering the IMAX VR project and closing all remaining locations in early-2019.[10]


  1. ^ a b Deverell, John (May 4, 1997). "Muss and fuss to freshen a tired core". Toronto Star.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Hume, Christopher (May 8, 1999). "Attention Getter". Toronto Star.
  3. ^ a b c Weisblott, Marc (March 31, 2014). "Former downtown Toronto flagship of Chapters bookstore chain to close May 30".
  4. ^ Kitching, Chris (April 1, 2014). "Chapters store at John and Richmond to close in May". CP24.
  5. ^ Marshall, Pat (November 3, 2010). "Cineplex Entertainment Adds UltraAVX™ Auditoriums In British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec". MarketWired. Retrieved July 11, 2016.
  6. ^ "Cineplex opening three Barco Escape theatres in Canada". Toronto Star. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  7. ^ "Cineplex has a new way to see movies, but is it a gimmick or potential for a pure cinematic experience?". National Post. July 25, 2016. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  8. ^ "Toronto's new IMAX VR arcade shows how virtual reality can shape your local theater". The Verge. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  9. ^ "Virtual Cineplex: Canada's leading circuit unveils a new entertainment reality". Film Journal International. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  10. ^ "Imax Is Shutting Down Its VR Business, Closing Remaining Three VR Centers in Q1". Variety. December 13, 2018. Retrieved September 10, 2019.

External links[edit]