Canadian Circuit Diverifies into Movie-less Complexes

By Robert Marich
   April 18, 2018-Leading Canadian theater circuit Cineplex is diversifying into entertainment complexes—what used to be arcades. Cineplex will overhaul a 10-screen multiplex in Brampton, Canada, later this year and replace with its Playdium entertainment concept.
   “The new Brampton location will feature a selection of classic and new-to-market video and redemption games, as well as unique
interactive experiences like virtual reality, bowling, rope courses and laser tag,” says a Cineplex press release. “Young movie-lovers in the area will also be able to look forward to watching films at Playdium, as Cineplex plans to retain one of the existing auditoriums from Cineplex Odeon Orion Gate Cinemas at the new space… Approximately two-thirds of the complex will be dedicated to games and attractions for all skill levels and the other third will offer a range of fun and fresh food and beverage options.”
   The conversion is scheduled to begin in September, ending cinema usage, and re-open as a Playdium in mid-2019.
   The Brampton location, which is in a suburb of Toronto, is the second announced for a Playdium concept. Cineplex also has another non-cinema entertainment format called The Rec Room in four locations. The press release says that 10-15 additional Playdiums and 10-15 Rec Rooms in the coming years. Cineplex has 163 theaters across Canada.
   My reaction is Cineplex is smart to diversify from pure cinema, given contracting theatrical release windows and the rise of new entertainment technology such as virtual reality—which is ideal for recreation centers.
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