Scotiabank Theatre Toronto

259 Richmond Street West,
Toronto, ON M5V 3M6

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from John Street

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The Paramount Toronto is the first movie theater to be built in downtown Toronto, south of Bloor Street, in 14 years.

Located in the midst of the Queen Street West shopping, fashion, nightclub, and entertainment district, it has the look of a modern glass palace wrapped in neon. Its giant, multicoloured cube 60 feet above street level pulsates with vibrant light.

Sixteen square foot LED video screens on the cube’s three exposed sides act as a rotating billboard, promoting the Paramount’s coming attractions and special events.

The ground level lobby soars 45 feet high and the escalator that rises five storeys above street level is one of the longest in Canada. The clear, glass wall provides ascending and descending moviegoers with a dramatic view of Richmond Street. Another glass wall along the lobby at the top of the escalator and along the licensed lounge, Vivid, offers a panoramic view of downtown Toronto, overlooking John Street. The SkyDome and CN Tower are just minutes away.

Paramount Toronto’s festive atmosphere is created with elaborate intelligent lighting throughout the lobbies and Vivid lounge. Plasma screens run film trailers as well as music and promotional videos.

Incorporated into this movie palace of the future is a bit of movie’s historic past. Above the escalator is a pair of bronze railings from New York’s famous Paramount Theatre, the opulent site of historic performances by Mae West, Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra. Closed and dismantled in 1964, the theater was located on Broadway on the street level of the Paramount Building, a 35-story skyscraper that for 40 years served as worldwide headquarters for Paramount Pictures.

All 13 screens and the Famous Players IMAX theater are located on one level. One screen features digital projection.

A special attraction is the stylish Club Room that can be rented for various corporate and special events and receptions.

The theater opened on May 1999 with the release of ‘Star Wars: Episode One The Phantom Menace.’ During that film’s opening week, Paramount Toronto had the fifth highest box office gross on the continent. Paramount Toronto regularly ranks among North America’s top grossing theaters.

Now operated by Cineplex, it has been re-named the Scotiabank Theatre Toronto

Contributed by Chad Irish

Recent comments (view all 31 comments)

vic1964
vic1964 on November 5, 2007 at 7:35 pm

I love this page,wow,i never bothered to read it before because i have come to a place in my life where i hate multiplexes and most of the corporations involved!Life is too short to read about this place i thought.I was wrong,this page is so full of negative vibes i find it soothing to read.Thanks everyone.

John Fink
John Fink on November 8, 2007 at 2:26 am

See, I saw this theater during the Toronto Film Festival this year and enjoyed it – yes the stairs are too slippery and if you’re in one of the big four theaters you have to then walk up to the (5th? floor) for the bathrooms. As far as I’m concerned in America we’re just catching up to what Famous Players and Cineplex did – the theaters have full food courts, including an expresso bar, smoothie bar and a real bar. (The Cineplex Oden Varsity also has a small bar as well in its VIP section – nice to see the Cineplex Oden name again and not a AMC Cineplex Oden like we have here in the USA).

I liked this theater a lot, it’s in a pretty cool neighborhood full of places to eat and clubs (I can see how that can be obnoxious if you’re just heading down there for a quick movie). I saw it during the festival so I was with the type of audience that maybe doesn’t frequent the Scotibank (all the locals told me they HATE this theater and were in mourning over the Famous Players Uptown). But I liked it, especially during the festival: you can see three movies in a row and not have to leave the theater for breakfast and lunch. I know its not a “Cinema Treasure” but its a decent big, ol' multiplex. Better than the cinemas Regal and AMC build in the US and the inspiration (along with the VIP section at the Varsity) for Cinema De Lux. Canada was ahead of the curve on that one.

Jon Lidolt
Jon Lidolt on November 8, 2007 at 7:21 am

Except for the occasional Imax presentation, I avoid this noisy, tacky looking mulitplex at all costs. To make matters worse, there’s usually something wrong with either the projection or the sound. You can almost always depend on a sloppy and unprofessional presentation at the Scotiabank.

If this is the future of movie exhibition in Toronto, all I can say is LONG LIVE DVD.

qwo06
qwo06 on October 23, 2009 at 6:49 pm

Jon: There are always be human error and your comment is nothing but exaggeration in my opinion. If that is the case, the theatre management would have hand out free passes after each show and long line ups at guest services people complaining about the poor presentation. But I have to admit, Scotiabank Theatre have long been neglected by Cineplex and Famous Players.

John Fink
John Fink on July 10, 2010 at 5:24 pm

They’ve shut down NY Fries, KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut in favor of Pizza Pizza and a smaller concession stand that offers chicken fingers and fries (where NY Fries was). Surf City and Burger King are still in operation.

qwo06
qwo06 on September 5, 2010 at 10:11 pm

Well, Cineplex shut down Yum! Brands and NY Files mostly for money reasons. Cineplex don’t want to pay franchising fees and they have a good relationship with Pizza Pizza. The ingredients in their pizzas are inexpensive.

rivest266
rivest266 on January 7, 2012 at 10:09 am

I uploaded the 1999 Grand opening ad for this theatre as Paramount.

John Fink, Those fast-food places you mentioned were owned by Pepsi. When Famous Players were taken over by Cineplex, they switched to Coke. and booted out KFC etc.

chuckkahn
chuckkahn on January 13, 2013 at 4:29 am

This article reports that Scotiabank has 4K projection in Cinema 2 (Christie Series 2 4K 3-Chip DLP (HFR Compatible)):

http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/movies/article/1313763—the-top-10-movie-seats-in-toronto

DavidDymond
DavidDymond on February 14, 2013 at 4:18 pm

I am an old-time employee of Famous Players and I want people to know that I think the Scotiabank formerly Paramount Theatre is really awesome. I have not observed shoddy film presentation on the many many times I have been there. I love the optical illusion that you are falling back on the escalator going up the 5 stories to the main floor. The sightlines and the seating are comfortable — and the screens are large. I am proud of Famous Players for building this megaplex!!!

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