Comments from Jason Whyte

Showing 1 - 25 of 107 comments

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Cineplex Odeon Victoria on Oct 19, 2016 at 5:56 pm

Entire complex to switch to leather reclining seating (with the reopening Capitol also opening Nov. 4th/2016 with new leather reserved seating) starting now and to be completed by the end of 2016.

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Empire Theatres Victoria on Oct 19, 2016 at 5:50 pm

UPDATE: Reopening November 4th, name to go back to Capitol 6, screen size has been made bigger on some screens, all leather-recliner seating (reserved) and Vancouver Island’s first Coke Freestyle machine at concession.

News link:

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Garibaldi 5 Cinema on Jul 24, 2016 at 11:04 pm

Oh yes, this closed a few years ago.

Some of the seats from this location wound up in the Whistler Village 8 cinema after it shut down.

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Empire Theatres Victoria on Jun 8, 2016 at 9:47 am

BREAKING NEWS! The Capitol 6 in Victoria is reopening in August!!!!

Full article:

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Regal Meridian 16 on May 24, 2015 at 1:34 am

Added a few pictures from a trip I did last year in Seattle. Came here for a matinee of FADING GIGOLO.

This theater has clearly seen better days (or I suppose they haven’t, based on the previous comments I have read). Dirty throughout, the staff were rude to me on more than one occasion on my visit, and there were also several projection problems on my ONE visit here, leading me to believe no one has a clue how their projectors work. I did a quick peek on a few other screenings and two movies were being presented in the wrong format, and one was only projecting the color green on screen, also in the wrong format with open masking on all four sides of the screen.

Amazingly my presentation of FADING GIGOLO was pretty good and in the correct format. Which is more than I can say for the other movies I peeked in on.

I also agree with the sight-lines in this place. I had to move twice due to someone sitting even five rows ahead blocking my view. And I’m 6'2"! I can only imagine what this place is like on a busy night.

What a terrible theater. Regal would do well to shut this down and build a new location, either here or elsewhere downtown. This theater paled in comparison to the AMC Pacific Place which is a gorgeous cinema and very well run.

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about AMC Pacific Place 11 on May 24, 2015 at 1:03 am

Added several photos, including shots of the exterior, box office as well as auditorium #8, the largest in the complex.

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Landmark University Heights on May 23, 2015 at 11:39 pm

BIG UPDATE: Added nearly 100 photos of University 4 Cinemas including exterior, lobby and extensive shots of all four cinemas. A mixture of Canon 60D and cell phone pics, depending on the vantage point! Enjoy!

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Cineplex Cinemas Yonge-Dundas on May 7, 2015 at 3:40 pm

The VIP section is located on the second floor where Cinemas #16-21 used to be, although the whole area has been completely gutted and re-done. The entrance is located by where screens #15 and #22 are, with a slightly pushed out entrance (#15 and #22 are accessible on the sides via a small hall-way) leading into a main lobby with the lounge on the right hand side as you walk in.

VIP #1-3 are on the left hand side and #4 and #5 are ahead and in the back behind the bar. I also don’t recall this location having VIP bathrooms, either, but there are giant washrooms outside the theaters anyway.

In fact, on some of their digital displays the screens would read “#17”, “18” but my ticket (ALSO for CAPTIVE!) read “VIP #5”). But again, no screen #21 exists.

Also all five screens in this VIP section are floating 1.85 screens with no masking, so movies in scope play letterboxed on this screen.

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Cineplex Cinemas Yonge-Dundas on May 6, 2015 at 5:47 pm

Now down to 23 screens due to the VIP renovation. Screens #1-15, as before, then VIP #1-5, then #22-24. No screen #21 exists. Oddly enough the cinema numbers haven’t changed so screens #22-24 still exist as before.

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about AMC Empire 25 on May 6, 2015 at 5:44 pm

“With Toronto’s Cineplex Cinemas Yonge – Dundas only one behind at 24.”

Which is now down to 23 due to the VIP renovation. Oddly enough the theaters are not re-numbered so it still goes up to 24!

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Empire Theatres Victoria on Nov 24, 2014 at 9:45 pm

The closing of the Capitol has still left a big hole in my heart, and it saddens me every time I walk by it. Ever since it closed it has been really tough to get particular movies to show here now, and many smaller releases now bypass our city because of it.

As for West Van area, they could do with a 10-12 screen Cineplex right in the mall with a few VIP theaters no problem. Easy to get to by transit as well. That would likely close both North Van locations, however.

It’s also really interesting to think that the two locations in North Vancouver are both total 80’s design cinemas (a Drabinsky era Cineplex Odeon AND a late 80’s Famous Players “Bijou”, “Rialto”, “Avalon”), largely unchanged since they opened. Very few of either type of cinema even exist anymore.

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Empire Theatres Victoria on Nov 23, 2014 at 6:56 pm

Meanwhile Capitol 6 is just sitting there, with the few tenants on the lower floor (the film fest office and the rent-to-own store) still open as of now.

From what I know everything except the digital projectors and some of the concession equipment is still in the building. Even the posters from the last few movies that played there are still sitting in the lower lobby!

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Empire Theatres Victoria on Nov 23, 2014 at 6:52 pm

I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Cineplex go into the mall area in West Van at some point. I know a theater used to be there but they could do really well with a new build.

That said the Cineplex Odeon Park & Tilford IS all digital, so who knows for the time being.

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Gem Theatre launches Kickstarter campaign to buy digital projector on Oct 29, 2014 at 11:43 pm

“The goal of the campaign is to raise $50,000 to acquire a digital projector to keep the Gem Theatre open.”

Awww, a theater still thinks it is 2009.

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Superior Value Cinema on Jun 7, 2014 at 1:02 am

This must mean there’s an Inferior Theatre located nearby in this town…

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Cinerama Dome and ArcLight Hollywood on Jun 2, 2014 at 11:41 am

““no longer show 3 projector movies anymore as they used to when they opened”

They didn’t show “3 projector movies” when they opened in 1963. Good lord I want to smack whoever at the theater said that to you.

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Empire Theatres Victoria on Jun 1, 2014 at 4:01 am

Added nearly 40 photos to the gallery, including scans of the 1981 grand opening and construction, along with an old photo of the original Capitol.

Consider the Capitol 6 gallery complete! Enjoy.

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Dolphin Cinemas on May 22, 2014 at 2:23 pm

The Dolphin Cinema will be closing next week. Article:

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about SilverCity Mississauga Cinemas on May 3, 2014 at 1:22 am

AH that makes sense then. Some theories: they were probably allowed to keep it as long as they either sold it to someone else, or would have to sell it (which is what happened).

That or the location just wasn’t making the grosses they wanted it to, and will instead put more money into the Winston Churchill site (more than certain now they will convert 4-5 theaters into VIP and 2-3 screens AVX).

What surprises me about all of this is didn’t that 10-plex have an Ultra AVX auditorium in there? That’s a huge cost.

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about SilverCity Mississauga Cinemas on May 2, 2014 at 11:10 am

You had me curious as well. Isn’t this really close to the former AMC 24 plex that they took over? If so perhaps that’s the reason this one might be closing, or closed.

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Empire Theatres Victoria on Apr 5, 2014 at 7:05 pm

Thanks Herman and Tim for your comments. Gallery is now complete! Please comment, leave questions etc.

This was a LOT of work to put each image up one at a time, and there were also a few areas I didn’t cover like the roof, bathrooms etc. I also removed a few of my original set of photos so they wouldn’t duplicate. (Please also note Hailee’s excellent set of photos for when she used to manage there.) One area I WISH I covered was the maze-like, concrete exits from each auditorium. You would exit into a cold, quiet, sterile set of staircases leading you to a gigantic concrete street level exit on both Yates and View street sides. People usually never exited this way and rather chose to head back down the circular ramp to the exit doors, which always gave you a nice view of downtown as you left.

And although I agree with Herman on the uniqueness, in many ways this place shares a lot of similarities with Capitol 6 Vancouver. Same types of seats, carpeting and screen sizes. Cinema #2 here had about the same screen size as the behemoth Cinema One in Vancouver, although with half the seats (1,031 in Vancouver vs. 534 in Victoria). Many of the later Famous Players builds DID go to a standard just like Cineplex Odeon eventually did as well, just in a different way.

But anyway. Going through these photos reminded me of the power of this place; my childhood cinema which I still miss to this day. This was a place where I felt comfortable, safe and very welcomed to watch a movie in. I fell in love with movies here as well as the Odeon (which is still going strong as I have said many times before).

Yes, the theater never upgraded to stadium seating but it WAS on the cutting edge of technology. It was the first Victoria theater to have all Dolby Stereo later in the 80s (many of the screens were mono to start). It ran 70mm in the late 80s and early 90s. The first DTS installation was here. In fact, digital sound got a LOT of play here early on; screen #2 was Dolby when it opened in 1981, upgraded to SR in the late decade when 70mm played there, DTS was installed in the summer of 1994, then Dolby Digital a year later, then SDDS from about 1996 to early 1998. It was in this period of time that screen #2 had sound quality among the very finest out of any cinema I have ever been to in my life, even to this day out of attending hundreds of cinemas all over North America. The theater switched from SDDS back to Dolby Digital in early 1998 or so, mid-way through the six month engagement of TITANIC. Over the years, sadly, the sound quality didn’t live up to its heyday in the 90s, and over the years drivers blew and the volume had to go down, but even towards closing still sounded pretty good in comparison to new theaters.

Just to add again to the whole sight-line thing on Cinema #2; the theater had a row of only two seats on the left hand side of the auditorium on the aisle (again, I should have taken a photo of these heavenly seats but never did). As the room sat about 530+ people you would never, ever have anyone try to sit next to you, and when I did take a date to a movie here they were the perfect date seats. You could enter or exit from either side too.

I would ALWAYS watch a movie in these seats in #2. Perfect view of the huge screen, easy to duck in and out for a bathroom break or to see a manager or staff, and even if someone sat in front of you your view would not be compromised. It also sat right next to a power outlet so if I needed to charge my cell phone for whatever reason, I’d just plug it in, turn it to silent and it would sit right next to me for the duration of the movie. Everybody wins.

Thinking more about what Tim said months ago, I’d love for a new chain or company to come in and salvage it. Yes, the numbers were bad but with a little TLC it could be prosperous again. Just a simple reposition of the seats would take care of the sight line issue. The building just sits there and I know a lot of the equipment is still in there. Maybe one day…

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Empire Theatres Victoria on Apr 5, 2014 at 3:02 pm

As of right now just about to post the remaining lobby and exterior photos.

Cinemas 1, 3, 4 & 5 had very good sightlines due to the placement of the screen. I never had an instance, even as a kid, of someone blocking my view sitting infront of me. The same couldn’t be said about huge #2; it had pretty poor sightlines but I always liked sitting on the aisle seats which fixed that.

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Empire Theatres Victoria on Apr 5, 2014 at 1:13 pm

Now uploading a massive set of photos of the ‘ol Capitol 6 to this page. These photos will include exterior, lower lobby, upper lobby, all six screens and projection. It is a bit of a chore since CT will only let you upload one photo at a time, but it will look great when done.

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Scotiabank Theatre Vancouver on Mar 29, 2014 at 10:12 pm

The first level has the box office. The second level has Cinemas 1, 2 & 3 and the top level has Cinemas 4-9. It is a fair distance from the box office to cinema #9 by the way.

This is also one of the first Cineplex locations to have TWO Ultra AVX theaters. #1 (formerly 467 seats, now 420) was installed first, then #2 was converted in November of 2013. #2 had the first Dolby Atmos installation in BC.

Jason Whyte
Jason Whyte commented about Bankers Hall Cinemas on Mar 29, 2014 at 3:10 pm

I remember going to this Famous Players location for a visit here on vacation in 1999 and loving it. It was my first visit to the city and I recall navigating through Calgary’s Plus 15 system and wound up here, eventually watching the silly Hugh Grant movie “Mickey Blue Eyes”.

The theater entrance was on the top floor of Bankers Hall, navigated through some escalators. It had a free-standing box office before you entered the cinema.

I watched “Mickey Blue Eyes” in screen #2 and as I walked in I was rather surprised to discover this traditional Famous Players theater featured stadium seating! Immediately this made me think this cinema was a bizarre halfway between a traditional FP build and a Silvercity, which were just becoming popular in Canada at the time.

Obviously due to the design of the place and being on the top floor of the Bankers Hall building gave them reason to have great sight lines between each row. This theater was also part of the late 80’s FP design where each theater had its own name (“Bijou”, “Rialto” etc) and there are still a few of these surviving in Canada.

This was a nice Famous Players location in downtown Calgary and shame to see that it barely survived over a decade. Just wish there were actual pictures of this cinema somewhere.