Fifth Avenue Theatres – don’t go changing!

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Today in the Vancouver Province, Jim Jamieson reported that Onex Corp.’s Cineplex Galaxy is buying larger rival Famous Players from New York-based Viacom Inc. for $500 million. The resulting entity will create a film-screening juggernaut with 132 locations and more than 1,300 screens across Canada. To win regulatory approval, Cineplex Galaxy reached an agreement with the federal Commissioner of Competition to sell 35 theatres with combined annual box-office revenues of about $100 million in cities where the two chains compete. The merged company will control about 63 per cent of the Canadian market.

What does this mean to all of us in Kitsilano?? The list of theatres to be sold remains confidential but several will be in BC, including the possibility that one could be Fifth Avenue. It’s part of Alliance Atlantis Cinemas, which is 49-per-cent owned by Famous Players. Hopefully, Fifth Avenue is able to continue delivering great movies and awesome service. The good news is that Leonard Schein – who recently bought and reopened the Park Theatre – is interested in taking a look if Fifth Avenue is on the block.

Last modified: June 14, 2005

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