Showing 26 - 50 of 93 comments
Attended the last night of shows on Thursday and it was a very bitersweet evening. Small crowds at each screening and some staff and old managers came to visit. I stayed there with my camera, snapping some last photos before leaving about midnight. Like David said, this opened in the summer of 1981 and aside from some renovations (replacing the dome over the entrance was a big one) changes in carpet, seating and concession area not much about the place had changed. It was a well preserved museum of 1980’s multiplex moviegoing.
This theater will very likely be demolished as Empire is selling it as real estate. There is also a huge parking lot behind the cinema that can also be used for a new development.
I would have loved for Magic Lantern to come in and take over the cinema, but it has an incredible amount of $$$ needed for repairs and renovations, and the attendance has been so low for so long that I don’t think anyone could make a go of it, really. I was in Toronto recently for TIFF and liked what they did with the Carlton, and the Market Square cinema was an excellent visit.
Odeon tends to get better bookings than the Capitol as well. It has been like that for years. Higher profile Oscar titles, foreign and film fest titles would almost always go to the Odeon too, titles which people would come downtown for. Capitol would get more blockbuster/family product but those did way better at Silvercity and Westshore out of town.
I have hundreds of Capitol pics to post, including original 1981 construction and opening day photos. I have completely documented this cinema over the last two months. Both upper and lower lobbies, all six cinemas, concession, projection booth and exterior are all photographed (SOME of them are posted on here). As well I’ll be shooting more photos (mostly exterior, day/night) and video today and tomorrow.
Sadly, despite the coolness of the cinema and its HUGE Cinema #2 (one of my favorite auditoriums on the planet featuring one of the best sound systems), the theater was not making money whatsoever. Attendance has dropped catastrophically over the years to the point where you’d have less than a dozen people in the entire building for a set. It’s depressing considering how busy and profitable this cinema used to be. Cinema #2 still has the highest seating capacity for any cinema on the island.
Odeon doesn’t have stadium seating either, unless you count #5, which was the balcony of the original 1949 theater. The 1997 expansion and the downstairs auditoriums are still flat. Odeon is still going strong and likely could get another modern renovation in the future.
Capitol is closing Thursday, October 17th as this was not one of the theaters up to sale to Landmark Cinemas of Canada. Many photos, comments and more notes to come.
Capitol 6 opened in the summer of 1981, and this carpet was installed in roughly 2004 before Empire took over operations in fall 2005.
Status should now be closed, as the cinema shut down on September 30th, 2012, and IS becoming a Dollarama. Now downtown Vancouver only has two cinemas (Scotiabank 9 and International Village 12) in operation.
Empire Granville 7 will be closing on Sunday, November 4th, 2012 after a South Asian film festival rental. This leaves downtown Vancouver with only TWO cinemas (Scotiabank 9 and International Village 12, both Cineplex) as of November.
Station Square 7 to close on September 3rd, 2012. Which is not surprising as Cineplex never updated to digital at this location. I took photos recently and will add more to the site soon. http://www.cineplex.com/Theatres/TheatreDetails/Famous-Players-Station-Square-Cinemas.aspx
I think I recall those Uptown pics were from another person’s Flickr account. That and the archive photos were the only photos I ever found of the place.
As for the Kingston 7, I couldn’t find photos either but it would appear the multiplexing was done under the 80’s Famous Players design where every cinema had a name (“Rialto” “Bijou” etc). There are still two of them in existence in Greater Vancouver (Esplanade 6 in North Van and Station Square 7 in Burnaby) and are both good cinemas.
It’s closing? Shame. Always wanted to visit there, but understand if there’s a new one opening nearby. (I keep hearing about how awesome the new Empire locations are, even though they have yet to build one in BC).
I too am curious how they divided it up and would love to see interior photos.
Further update: Five of the 20 screens are now converted to the Cineplex VIP experience. Leather couches, bar and in-seat service. Tix are $19.50 ($22.50 for 3D movies).
Status should now be closed. Tear.
It certainly was! Saw my last movie there, SHERLOCK HOLMES 2 about a week ago, and the sound and projection are among the best in the city. Cinema #1, with the balcony and huge capacity (between 620-640) made it a really great place to watch a movie. The theater was doing pretty good business but you can’t stop progress, I suppose, as Oakridge mall really wants to update. I took even more photos recently and will be sending those into Cinematour next week.
Even as of December, they are still on about 13-14 of their screens. Likely because the cost of booking/operating 30-35 movies in this day and age would put this location in the red.
I know AMC wants out of Canada and this 30 screen could probably be re-done with a much smaller screen count. Calling Empire Theatres!!! ;)
All digital projection as of December, 2011.
Capitol 6 is all digital projection as of September 2011. Large screen #2 has the largest capacity of any cinema in Greater Victoria.
Update: Complex is all digital now, and one screen has been renovated to the Ultra AVX system.
Cineplex pretty much uses the Station Square now as a “move over” from nearby, 10 screen Silvercity Metropolis; in other words, it’s 17 screens but in two buildings. Strange thing is, Station Square is still all 35mm and Metropolis is all digital now. Time will tell if this cinema stays open…
Update: The IMAX 15/70 film system (screen #19) will be replaced with the IMAX Digital system in Spring 2012. Screen #1 will be converted to Ultra AVX, meaning that both AVX & IMAX will be in the same complex. Currently, screens 1-18 are all digital.
Empire Oakridge 3 will be closing on January 2nd, 2012 as the mall is redeveloping. A Crate & Barrel store will be going in its place. Very sad news as the theater certainly has its history.
I had a talk with good ‘ol GM Pierre at the Odeon recently, showed him this post and he confirmed everything you said. My previous source was a younger GM who told me of the incorrect split…so my apologies on that! And big thanks for all of your memories of working there; that’s really amazing stuff! As I’m also a lot younger, I only have faint memories of the Counting House and the Haida, but I loved those cinemas. The Haida had a small balcony that I loved to “sneak up” into sometimes.
(I’d also like to add to your post that Cineplex Odeon had the Towne until the early 90’s, then Landmark re-opened it as The Vic in ‘95)
As is now, I’m still trying to figure out how the heck they had two screens from the original screen. That twinning must have been a disaster resulting in two narrow, “bowling alley” type theatres. Currently #5 (formerly #1) is known as “The Big House” and people still love it.
On another note, the Odeon is now all digital projection. All of the film equipment has been removed, save for the Century/Prevost in #5 (although I haven’t been in the booth to see if the rest of it is still intact).
Capitol 6 across the street is now 100% digital and all film equipment has been removed.
Sad to report that the Hollywood closed on Sunday, May 29th with a showing of CINEMA PARADISO and a Buster Keaton short.
Rumors abound that Cineplex will switch this theater entirely over to digital projection in the summer or early fall. I’m just hoping they enlarge the smaller auds (#1 and #2, still to this day the former orchestra of the original huge auditorium) somehow.
First theater in Canada with digital projection (Star Wars: Episode II in 2002). This location to be all digital this summer, and the IMAX theater will be converted to Ultra AVX digital projection.
“One screen was the first to use digital projections in Canada.” Silvercity Riverport had the first DLP installation (they ran Star Wars: Episode II on Cinema #5). I think Coquitlam’s came a few years later.
Mind you, this location will probably be all-digital by year end.