Cinema transition from Empire Theatres going well, says Cineplex

John Brannen jbrannen@ngnews.ca
Published on December 3, 2013
Morgan MacDonald, general manager of Cineplex Cinemas New Glasgow stands in the former Empire Theatres location. The transition has been moving along smoothly since Cineplex bought out the chain and moved into this location on Oct. 24. JOHN BRANNEN – THE NEWS

NEW GLASGOW – It’s been a little over a month since Cineplex came to New Glasgow after purchasing the Empire Theatres location and things are going well.

That’s according to Mike Langdon, communications director for Cineplex Cinemas who said things are running quite smoothly.

“Business has been good and we’ve successfully integrated our systems for computers, tickets and concessions,” Langdon noted. “There’s no doubt about it, Empire was a great theatre operator.”

Empire Company, the parent group of Sobeys and Empire Theatres, announced the sale of 24 Empire theatres located in Atlantic Canada to Cineplex on June 27 for $200 million.

While Cineplex officially took possession of the theatres on Oct. 24, the exterior, interior and in some cases staff members remained unchanged.

“We offered employment to all of the employees at theatre and we're happy that the vast majority have continued,” said Langdon. “We've made a few operational changes at concessions but substantively, it’s a similar experience.”

One noticeable difference is the company’s SCENE loyalty program, which provides members with an immediate 10 per cent discount on concession purchases, in addition to the ability to earn SCENE points with the purchase of tickets, concessions and items from CineplexStore.com. SCENE members also receive an additional 10 per cent discount on Cineplex Tuesday admissions.

We’ve definitely seen interest among our new guests since it's been popular and we expect it to continue,” said Langdon. “We had five million card members without the Atlantic provinces so it's been a huge success.”

As far as the most obvious exterior signage goes, that will have to wait until mid-next year.

“That per our schedule as it takes time to get the signs manufactured and installed,” said Langdon. “But bottom line, this has been a very smooth transition and a positive experience for us and our guests.”

Cineplex’s Front Row Centre events, which features non-Hollywood events such as the Met Opera, National Theatre Live, dance and other events from around the world will be rolled out soon.

Cineplex is Canada’s largest theatre exhibitor, and with the addition of 24 theatres and 170 screens in Atlantic Canada, now operates 161 theatres and 1,635 auditoriums from coast to coast.

 

john.brannen@ngnews.ca

On Twitter: @NGNewsJohn