Comments from Jason Whyte

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Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Original 1999 box office at opening on Jun 17, 2022 at 8:47 pm

Update: This photo is actually from 2003 or so due to the posters in the image.

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Cineplex Cinemas Varsity & VIP on Apr 26, 2022 at 8:50 am

Added a few more photos from the very hard to find book Cineplex Odeon: An Outline History including the original lobby when the complex was just a twin, the original auditorium #2 and a rare look at the original VIP auditoriums with unique “French Quinette Gallay” seating!

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Cineplex Cinemas Orchard Plaza on Mar 30, 2022 at 4:16 am

This location updated to recliners and is doing pretty well, so it’s definitely here to stay.

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Landmark Cinemas 24 on Mar 30, 2022 at 4:10 am

The IMAX auditorium was a conversion of either #12 or #13.

For the Oshawa centre, I believe that was because booking zone rules may have changed due to population around that time.

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Cineplex Cinemas Yonge-Dundas on Dec 5, 2021 at 2:50 pm

All of the seating in the regular theatres along with the AVX and IMAX have had new seats installed since about 2019 and are VERY comfortable. I always felt the AMC red seats held up pretty good except for the occasional loose/squeaky seat here and there. The seats appear to be the same size so this shouldn’t affect the seat count.

This is also one of the very few Cineplex locations in Canada to still use masking on their regular auditoriums. Bonus points if you see a movie in 2, 3, 9, 10, 12, 13, 23 & 24 as they all have scope screens with side masking. Pretty cool to see in a theatre in 2021.

4DX and VIP have the same seating as before.

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about 1997 lobby shot on Oct 26, 2021 at 9:24 pm

Correction: this is around 2003 or so, as noted by the movies on display in the lobby.

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Famous Players Canada Square on Oct 26, 2021 at 9:23 pm

This is a strong loss for Toronto as even though attendance was way down, it was still a nice “extension” of sorts to the Yonge & Eglinton location, and you could step right off the Eglinton subway and walk up to the front doors without even going outside!

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Cineplex Cinemas Varsity & VIP on Oct 26, 2021 at 9:21 pm

Some quick updates after a visit just a day after TIFF 2021 ended:

The first four rows in #8 have all been removed but none of the rows have changed their lettering, so it now begins in Row E. Not sure why this was done, but it definitely has taken out some of the more undesirable seats.

Previously I mentioned that the screen in #8 was permanently set to 2.20:1 for 70mm, but the screen has now been remasked and fixed at 2.39:1. I saw SHANG-CHI here and it really was a great presentation in front row E center!

This location also frequently offers 9:30-10am showtimes throughout the week, which is a rarity in Canada.

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Cineplex Cinemas Mississauga on Sep 29, 2021 at 3:27 pm

A few updates on this location and corrections from my last post. I was able to see two movies here after my visit at TIFF 2021 and was amazed to be in the grandfather location of the Famous Players “Stadium” era. Overall a solid location but I can tell MANY things have changed over the years and it still has some unique features.

Cinemas 1-4 (not #5) are not flat-sloped but rather at a slight “sightline” seating setup. There are small stairs on both sides which end about 2/3rds of the way down. Many of the seats also have a gentle recline to them, whereas many other Silvercity locations did not (they were bolted and fixed seating).

There were additional concessions upstairs and back in the IMAX area, but those have been completely removed. There is still a dated “Upstairs Concession Open” sign at the top of the escalator that is still there though! Maybe it is still there in case they do some sort of pop-up concession stand in the future? The main concession is right as you pass the podium area, however, so these additional concessions wouldn’t be needed today.

Many of the original decorations are all gone from the older photos I posted. Not a huge loss though as you do see a lot of the height and high ceiling of the lobby now. Except for AVX in #9 and the IMAX auditorium, all of the original Famous Players blue seats are STILL there in 2021 and looks like they will never be upgraded unless a recliner conversion is announced (and would be easy to do in the smaller #1-4 theatres, not so sure about the stadium rooms).

While there is an escalator to get up to the stadium 5-10 section and a down escalator, there’s also a very hidden additional staircase between #9/10 where guests can exit down to the lower floor. I suppose this was added for fire regulations but it seems to be ignored, and it’s still accessible to anyone to go upstairs or down.

The 1998 addition of #11/12 and IMAX is VERY noticeable that it has been added after the fact, with a tacky arrow sign directing guests to those theatres, though the mirrored hallway is a REALLY cool design and also I assume where they would do lineups to any auditorium if needed. The hallway to #11/12 also has #11 at the far end and #12 closest to the hallway. Typically this would be the other way around.

The big, grand Cinema 10, the main reason for my visit, still has a proper Cinemascope screen but the masking is open and the curtains are still there, but of course will never be used again. #10 is pretty much as it was when it opened in 1997.

A contact of mine mentioned that at their opening, when it was just the circular 10-plex, that there were 10,000 guests a DAY visiting that location. The location was busy when I left my second matinee leading into the evening show, so that was great to see. I do like the more minimalist interior and REALLY love the new Cineplex Cinemas design outside. It’s still very well located in the Square One/Mississauga area with tons of parking and will remain for quite some time.

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Haida Theatre on Aug 27, 2021 at 9:46 pm

Closed in 1992. Last movie was CITY OF JOY starring Patrick Swayze.

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about IMAX Victoria on Aug 27, 2021 at 9:44 pm

This is not the IMAX Victoria box office at the museum, but appears to be from a multiplex location.

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about SilverCity Mississauga Cinemas on Aug 5, 2021 at 8:20 am

Typically AVX conversions would lose about 30-50 seats depending on the auditorium, and about 60-80 if DBOX seats were installed in a few rows.

On another note, always love when you post the list of opening/closing movies!

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Cineplex - Toronto, ON on Feb 25, 2021 at 9:34 am

This photo is for the Eaton Centre 18 complex which was across the street and underground.

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Hollywood Theatre on Jan 16, 2021 at 5:36 pm

Posted a shot of the auditorium from the official website. This theater technically IS open as a bar/lounge right now but is not showing any movies.

I’m not a fan of this redesign as along with ScreenClassic’s comments about the seats facing away from the screen, it seems like there will be major distractions throughout for any type of feature film presentation with a bar and lounge area right in the auditorium area.

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Famous Players Canada Square on Jan 16, 2021 at 5:29 pm

Loving all of your informative updates! It’s great to see someone mentioning the opening movies too.

This location is very interesting as it’s a well maintained museum of the 1985 Drabinsky-era Cineplex Odeon with very mild updates over the years. I feel if this location EVER gets an update it will be with luxury recliners.

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Victoria Terrace 6 on Jan 16, 2021 at 5:26 pm

Thanks for the info, theatrefan! The prices for those items were probably FAR higher than they were in other stores, so there wouldn’t be much value. I was more interested in if they had actual FP gear. ;)

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Cineplex Cinemas Esplanade on Jan 13, 2021 at 6:41 pm

Many thanks for that video! Very sad to see. I still haven’t visited the new Park Royal location but hope to when the C-virus passes.

I am beyond overdue to post my photo gallery of this location and PROMISE I will get to it soon. I have pictures of all six theaters, both lobbies and many other areas of the theater when taken on the closing weekend of this location.

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Landmark Square One on Jan 13, 2021 at 12:59 pm

There is one thing I have always been curious about this location, especially when around the time it opened, and hoping some Mississauga/Toronto based CT'ers can shed some light on it.

A Yelp review commented on it and a YouTube video mentions it, but apparently there was a type of balcony and VIP type lobby when the theater opened, and according to one Yelper that the top rows in the largest auditoriums had a special type of balcony and seating?

Yet in the YouTube video, which was shot during the Empire Theatres days, it shows two teenagers filming themselves going up an elevator to this section. Yet when this video was filmed, the stairway was roped off from the staircase downstairs, and it appeared to be closed. The balcony area itself is completely empty save for a couple of leather couches and doors to JUST the largest auditoriums.

It never seemed like this location did very well, either, being in close proximity to Coliseum/Cineplex Cinemas Mississauga and even more surprising that it’s in one of the biggest malls in the country.

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Cineplex Cinemas Mississauga on Jan 13, 2021 at 12:52 pm

I really want to visit this theater now and am hoping that after COVID restrictions that I can make a trip out here during my annual trip to TIFF.

For the earlier Corus comment about two theaters not having digital sound; I’m pretty sure all 10 screens did when they opened with Dolby Digital, but at that point Columbia movies like THE FIFTH ELEMENT only had SDDS tracks on their prints and a Dolby SR backup, so they couldn’t run that with digital sound unless they installed an SDDS system. There’s also the possibility that a Universal title also opened that was only available with DTS and it wasn’t playing in a DTS equipped auditorium. That didn’t last long, however, as later in the summer Columbia’s release of AIR FORCE ONE was released with Dolby, DTS and SDDS tracks and Universal also went to all tracks in that time period.

Also interesting about this location is that it appears Cinemas 1 to 5 still are flat sloped theaters, #10 has its original scope screen AND the original blue seats remain after all these years. You’d think with the success of this location they would have at least done a stadium conversion to the smaller theaters and put in Ultra AVX-style seats in all of their auditoriums by now, like in many other locations.

A while back I added a few photos including theater #10 which is a rare FP Silvercity/Coliseum screen that is SCOPE! A few other Coliseum builds in that era had these in their largest theaters, but later pretty much all screens were flat 1.85 only. Like with a lot of photos I have added to CT, I have went through a LOT of “fan photos” on Google, Yelp and Foursquare and am fascinated by this theater design.

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Victoria Terrace 6 on Jan 9, 2021 at 9:46 pm

I posted this on a comment, but this location had a “Famous Movie Shop” in one of the photos. Anyone know what was sold here? I would have loved to go home with a Famous Players Coffee Mug! ;)

What a stunning location this was and sad to hear it only lasted 13 years. That auditorium shot makes me want to see a 70mm presentation sitting about 5-6 rows back in the middle. Sad many of these theaters are gone.

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Famous Players Victoria Terrace Lobby on Jan 9, 2021 at 9:20 pm

Anyone know what was sold in the “Famous Movie Shop”? This is the first I have ever seen. Imagine if I could have taken home a Famous Players coffee mug!

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Cineplex Cinemas Vaughan on Jan 8, 2021 at 11:31 am

In regards to sound, all of the Silvercity/Coliseum/Colossus etc were all Dolby Digital with a few scant DTS units installed on the larger auditoriums, but around 1998 most soundtracks had all digital soundtracks (Dolby SRD, DTS and SDDS) a lot of those DTS units were never really used.

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Cinema Cineplex Forum on Jan 6, 2021 at 11:32 pm

Hopefully after the COVID pandemic I can make a trip to Montreal as I have always wanted to visit this theater and the existing movie houses downtown. I could have only imagined if AMC went ahead and actually built a 7,300 (!) seat 30-plex in the forum, as the current 22 screen theater only has about 4000 seats or so. To answer Corus, they still want to keep both locations so they can push their Premium Experience offerings like VIP, Ultra AVX, IMAX and possibly even future experiences like more gaming, event cinema screenings etc.

Does anyone know what the current screen count would be with the VIP upgrade? Yonge-Dundas went to 23 from 24 screens when they converted the old AMC, and Winston Churchill went from 24 to 22 by converting to VIP recently. IMAX is also on that level so that screen would definitely remain and need enough room for an entrance and exit, but with that pretty large lobby on the lower level I’m sure there would be tons of extra room for the kitchen and lounge.

I added the Ultra AVX photo onto this page and with what looks like around a 550 seat count, it’s by far the largest AVX auditorium in Canada. Also like Yonge-Dundas in Toronto it has a true scope screen making it more ideal for widescreen presentations.

Also, does anyone know how you get back down from the top level of cinemas (11-22) on the top level? From all the photos I saw, I can’t see an escalator back down making you exit into the top level of the forum? The top and bottom concession areas are now walled off, so it would seem like a chore to get back down to the main level to visit the concession stand.

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Scotiabank Theatre Vancouver on Jan 4, 2021 at 7:21 pm

That’s a really good question in regards to the lack of IMAX. When it opened in 2005 the nearby CN IMAX was still open and running a mixture of docs and first run. It closed a few years later, and now the closest location is the fish-eyed OMNIMAX at Telus World of Science, which is still 70mm-film only and limited to hour-long documentaries. So other than that you have to travel out to Silvercity Riverport or Cineplex Cinemas Langley for your IMAX fix.

Scotia Vancouver is also, by FAR, the smallest Famous Players Paramount to be built, and the last theater to open as a Famous Players. It was LONG behind schedule (which was good for movie buffs like myself as it kept the nearby Capitol 6 open for much longer than expected) and it’s in this strange middle ground where the theaters are somewhat cramped, pointing in every direction yet it has a massive main lobby. Seat count is just under 400 for largest #1 (originally 467 which IS one of the larger capacities of FP builds in that era), 350 in #2 (originally 404), a few medium sized theaters at 230 and smaller ones at only 137 seats.

I always get a reminder of how small this Vancouver location is when I attend TIFF and the 14-screen Scotia Toronto is almost twice the size when it comes to seat count! #1 in Toronto alone is 559 seats and there are several more large capacity auditoriums.

I do have some older photos of this location and I’ll be sure to add them to this page shortly.

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Famous Players Canada Square on Dec 22, 2020 at 9:24 pm

@CorusFTW; when I first visited here in 2013 it seems to me that Cineplex has the same management and operates both locations as a (now) 20-plex (then 17-plex) in two different buildings. Yonge-Eglinton only had 9 screens when it opened and that was the smallest Silvercity at the time with pretty limited space so I’m guessing when it went up for sale in 2003 FP thought an additional eight screens would be ideal to book more titles instead of a competitor possibly moving in.