Eaton Centre Cinemas

1 Dundas Street W,
Toronto, ON M5B 2H1

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Cineplex Odeon

Architects: Mandel C. Sprachman

Previous Names: Eaton Centre Cineplex

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Opened on April 19, 1979, the 18-screen complex was once cited in the Guinness Book of World Records and was an enormously popular venue for years. By no means a true Cinema Treasure, this theater once contained the world’s largest number of theaters in one multiplex, a forerunner of today’s megaplexes.

As the 1980’s and 1990’s wore on, however, the theater’s small screens began to fall out of favor with audiences and the multiplex was converted into a second-run house.

Unable to turn a profit, the theater finally closed on March 14, 2001, a victim of Loews' policy of retraction. It was demolished a few weeks after closing. Local moviegoers are not completely left in the dark, however, as the AMC Yonge & Dundas 24 opened nearby.

Recent comments (view all 40 comments)

KingBiscuits
KingBiscuits on August 4, 2009 at 6:30 am

The rats and mice part sounds scary. That alone would make me want to quit my position.

And it turns out, this theatre really was intended to be an arthouse. In its early years, the theatre ran art films and revivals as well as second-run fare. Also, there was a bistro and art gallery nearby (an idea that later showed up in other Cineplex theatre) which also inforced the whole art intention.

More interesting things I found were that Midnight Express and Life Of Brian both played for over a year in second run.

robboehm
robboehm on November 29, 2010 at 8:52 pm

And what is even more interesting is that although the shopping complex is still called Eaton Centre, Eaton’s is no more. Now it’s Sears.

rivest266
rivest266 on January 7, 2012 at 1:46 pm

I uploaded the April 19th, 1979 grand opening ad here.

rivest266
rivest266 on August 21, 2015 at 4:17 pm

This was not the first theatre called Cineplex. See http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/27493

Zootopialover98
Zootopialover98 on October 25, 2016 at 12:26 pm

I think the reason why this Theatre closed down was because the screens were dying it’s not one of those theatres that the Theatre owner should not have closed down like the AMC Grand 24 but this Theatre seems to have a good run

Zootopialover98
Zootopialover98 on October 25, 2016 at 12:27 pm

They could have built an 14 screen Theatre in its place

Zootopialover98
Zootopialover98 on January 10, 2021 at 3:43 pm

According to this website the seating capacity for this theaterĀ“s screens were as follows:

1 and 2 both had 92

3 had 56 the smallest set of seats out of this theater

4 had 70

5 had the most seats with 398 it also had DTS and THX sound systems and had 70mm plus a Balcony

6 had 84

7 and 8 both had 115 (35mm)

9 and 10 had 86

11 had 100 (35mm)

12 had 96 (35mm)

13 and 14 both had 78

15 and 16 both had 195 the second most amount of seats also both had DTS sound system (35mm)

17 and 18 had 58

All Cinemas had 16mm Rear Projection except those in ()

Amount of Screens or in this case Cinemas and seats

1979-1980 18 Cinemas 2,052 seats

1981-1987 3 Cinemas were added increasing an Unknown amount of seats

1988-1999 4 Cinemas were closed reducing the amount of seats to 1,994

2000-2001 1 Cinema was closed and amount of seats were reduced to 1,936 during its end of days.

CorusFTW
CorusFTW on February 11, 2021 at 8:56 pm

This famous theatre opened on April 19, 1979, and it was the first theatre Cineplex made. Its opening movies include The Tree of Wooden Clogs, The Shout, Tommy, Newsfront, A Purple Taxi, Rain and Shine, Queen of the Gypsies, and The Rubber Gun. These were pretty obscure movies back in the day. It closed on March 14, 2001. On the day before, its last films include Sugar & Spice, Wonder Boys, All the Pretty Horses, Best in Show, Unbreakable, Head over Heels, Antitrust, Dracula 2000, 102 Dalmatians, The Family Man (Digital), Dude, Where’s My Car?, Vertical Limit (Digital), Proof of Life, Charlie’s Angels, and Meet the Parents. Except for The Family Man and Vertical Limit, all movies used Dolby SR instead of digital sound. In my opinion, the closure news, while sad for many, was not shocking at all. I blame its age and small space more than Famous Players Paramount or any newer cinema. The good news is that I think Cineplex Yonge-Dundas will remain for a long while due to its location. Wishing Cineplex the best of luck in this pandemic.

rivest266
rivest266 on September 27, 2021 at 1:39 pm

There was a Cineplex chain that operated in Texas from 1977-1986, which had nothing to do with the Canadian chain.

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