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The auditorium inside this venue looks much like a larger-scale version of Vancouver’s recently-departed Denman Place Cinema, which likewise began life as a Famous Players house when it opened in 1969.
After zooming in for a closeup with Google Street View, it appears that the former Clearbrook Cinemas/Grand 6 building is now home to a fitness gym.
I went to this theatre back in 1993 when it was still the St. Vital 6. The movie I caught there was Cool Runnings.
It’s entirely possible, Cinemageek. I was visiting from out of town to see Freejack at the Fiesta when I shot this in January 1992, a few hours before the evening shows started up. In fact, Freejack was the first movie I ever saw in Nanaimo when I took this picture.
You could drive right by the Star and end up missing it without knowing it because, other than the Star’s logo painted on the sides of the building, there’s nothing on the outside that gives any indication of it being a movie theatre. From the front, it just looks like a typical retail storefront.
The Lougheed Mall Cinemas were closed by FP in February 1991 and reopened in November 1991 as a second-run house operated by a small chain called A Theatre Near You. 20th Century Theatres never operated outside of Ontario and had already been folded into Famous Players around 1980-81.
This theatre should be renamed as the Landmark University Heights. Landmark Cinemas took over its operations on October 31, 2013 after the Empire chain ceased operations two days earlier on October 29.
Status should now read closed. The Caprice is now closed as of January 5, as the landlord has terminated its lease and plans to renovate the theatre space for retail use.
More on the planned closure of the Caprice in the link below:
Langford’s Caprice Theatre to close permanently in January
Just got word via the Caprice website that the Caprice in Langford will be closing on January 5, 2014.
Here’s an article from the Victoria Times Colonist:
Moviegoers say goodbye to Capitol 6 on Victoria theatre’s last night
I’d sure like to see the 1981 construction and opening day photos (and perhaps opening day ads from the Times Colonist archives too, if available) once they get posted with the other photos. It’ll give us an insight into what the Cap 6 was like in its early years.
The Paramount Theatre building is actually not demolished, but was simply renovated for retail use after the theatre closed. Compare this photo [link] and this photo [link] with the building in the Google street view above – this is the same building in all three views.
A 1987 photo of the Mini Theatre can be seen here.
The May family took over the Capitol from Famous Players in 1982 and later ran it as part of May Theatres (1984) Ltd. until the Capitol closed in 2001.
According to the 1986 edition of the Canadian Film Digest Yearbook, May Theatres (1984) Ltd. ran the Towne for a brief period after Landmark sold the theatre up until the Towne closed.
May Theatres (1984) Ltd. was the previous owner of the theatre when it was the McCinema (as noted above), before Landmark took over. May Theatres is a regional chain with holdings in Alberta and Saskatchewan, centered around the May Cinema Centre in Lloydminster.
May Theatres (1984) Ltd. is the current owner of the Alma, confirmed here on the fourth page.
Confirming Chuck’s post above regarding the ownership, the current owner of the Grand Square 5 is May Theatres (1984) Ltd., the owner of the May Cinema Centre in Lloydminster.
Status should now read demolished. The Bay Theatre was torn down this past week, as reported in this article:
Old Theatre on Chapel Street Demolished
The Cinema 6 actually opened on June 10, 1970 with an opening double-bill of the John Wayne Western film “The Undefeated” and the Jerry Lewis comedy “Way…Way Out”. Here’s the ad for the opening night of the Cinema 6 from the June 10, 1970 Regina Leader-Post.
Here’s an ad from the October 29, 1981 edition of the Regina Leader-Post, the day that the Broadway closed with a last showing of the Burt Reynolds movie “Paternity”.
The Metropolitan went dark on November 29, 1981 after a final triple-bill of Ralph Bakshi animated features, “Fritz the Cat”, “The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat” and “Heavy Traffic”. Here’s the ad for the final Metropolitan show from the Regina Leader-Post.
Plans have been announced by the Empire chain to sell the Esplanade 6 to Landmark Cinemas as part of Empire’s splitting of its theatres between Landmark (20 locations in western Canada and Ontario) and Cineplex Odeon (24 locations in Atlantic Canada and two in Ontario) as Empire quits the theatre business. Full story below:
Empire leaves movie theatre business with sale to Cineplex and Landmark
The future is currently looking iffy for the Capitol 6/Empire Victoria as the Empire chain plans on splitting its theatres between Cineplex Entertainment and Landmark Cinemas in a sale as part of Empire’s exit from the theatre business (see link below):
Empire selling University Heights theatres, uncertain future for downtown’s Capitol Six
Personally, I hope Landmark picks up the Cap 6 as well and keeps it open because I’d hate to see another theatre disappear from the downtown area following the losses of the Haida, the Coronet and the Vic/Towne (the latter as a regular venue) over the years. Those who are turned off by the stadium-style experience of places like the SilverCity at Tillicum Mall and the Cineplex Westshore in Langford have found appeal in the older-style downtown houses like the Cap 6 and the nearby Odeon.