Casual commentary about political, cultural and economic issues with a particular interest on the city of Winnipeg by John Dobbin
Friday, June 22, 2012
No Movie Theatres For Seasons of Tuxedo Site
AMC Theatres Beats Hasty Retreat From Canada
There are two movie theatre chains of any heft in Winnipeg. They are Cineplex and Empire Theatres. Today, it was learned that big U.S. chain AMC which had been edging into Canada (and seemed a likely candidate for the Seasons of Tuxedo on the Ikea site) has been sold to large large Chinese theatre owned Panda. The new owners appear to have to no interest in Canada and have sold off all their theatres to Cineplex and Empire.
The only Empire theatre in Winnipeg is at Grant Park Shopping Mall and had been owned by Cineplex until the Competition Bureau forced them to sell it as part of a merger between Cineplex Odeon and Famous Players years ago.
All along Seasons of Tuxedo has listed a movie theatre complex for future development. Now, with the loss of AMC, it remains to be seen whether Empire has a desire to build a large complex on the site. I say Empire because Cineplex is converting the Cinema City McGillivary into a first run movie theatre.
It is obvious that Cineplex didn't want a competitor at the Ikea site to eat into their movie business. The discount movie idea ends for the south side of the city when this theatre full switches over to new movies only.
Unless Empire remains a candidate. It is the only large movie theatre candidate for a theatre complex at Seasons of Tuxedo.
Will it happen? Hard to say? A theatre complex is also on the books for west Portage Avenue near the Red River Ex site. Will that be more desirable for either company?
Empire has seemed quite content to sit on on their Grant Park complex.
At the moment, Ikea has all four walls up and the roof almost in place. Not long from now, it will open. It remains to be seen whether the store will ever see a movie theatre as a neighbour.