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, Cineplex Starburst and Brady Starburst) and restaurants (such as OutTakes and Poptopia). It is also a joint partner in the Scene loyalty program with Scotiabank.
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 Player 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 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.
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 an entertainment restaurant chain known as The Rec Room, with locations initially planned in Calgary, Edmonton, and Toronto.
Cineplex's main competitors are Cinemas Guzzo in Quebec, and Landmark Cinemas and Imagine Cinemas in Ontario. In Western Canada its main competitors are Landmark Cinemas and Rainbow and Magic Lantern Cinemas. Following the sale of Empire Theatre's operations to Cineplex and Landmark Cinemas, Cineplex became the only significant chain in Atlantic Canada, a role previously held by Empire only.
On June 27, 2013, Empire Company Ltd. announced that it would be focusing 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.
Cineplex Entertainment purchased 24 theatres for approximately C$194 million on October 10, 2013. This consisted of all Empire locations in Atlantic Canada. On October 22, 2013, Empire Theatres closed its Atlantic Canada locations after the evening shows. The Atlantic Canada theatres sale to Cineplex was completed on October 24, 2013. On October 25, 2013, the theatres reopened as Cineplex Cinemas. The deal was to include the two former AMC locations in Kanata (a region of Ottawa) and Whitby, but these were later removed from this deal due to Competition Bureau concerns. 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 Ltd. announced the completion of the sale of Empire Theatres to Cineplex & Landmark.
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.
Cineplex locations may 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. XScape primarily features redemption games as well as other arcade games; some locations may also include a licensed lounge and party rooms. The locations utilize card systems to store credits and points for prizes, and offers for Scene rewards users. About 77 other Cineplex locations continue to have a Cinescape arcade, replacing the TechTown brand previously deployed by Famous Players and Playdium.
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 is the entertainment rewards program jointly owned by Scotiabank and Cineplex Entertainment.
In January 2015, Cineplex announced a new entertainment restaurant chain known as The Rec Room; comparable to U.S. chains such as Dave & Buster's, they feature restaurant and bar areas (including quick service and upscale dining areas), as well as an arcade (The Yard), recreational game areas, simulators (including driving simulators and virtual reality experiences), and an auditorium equipped with a cinema-style screen, which can be used for concerts and live broadcast events. 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,
The first location opened in South Edmonton Common in 2016. A second location in Toronto's Roundhouse Park opened in late-June 2017, along with a second Edmonton location at West Edmonton Mall.  Further locations are under development at Deerfoot City in Calgary (delayed from 2016), and Masonville Place in London. Cineplex aims to open 10-15 locations of The Rec Room nationally, ranging in size from 30,000 to 60,000 square feet.
On October 2, 2017, Cineplex announced that it would re-launch the Playdium brand as a new entertainment restaurant chain. Complimenting The Rec Room, these locations will be focused towards teens, young adults, and families, with an arcade and attractions such as bowling, climbing walls, laser tag, ropes courses, party rooms, and restaurant areas. The first location of the re-launched concept is expected to open in Whitby in late-2018.
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. On January 1, 2014, Cineplex acquired a 50% stake in Yoyo's Yogurt Café. 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.
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. 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. The previous incumbent provider was Van Houtte, which is now phased out at all but two locations.
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.
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.