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» Cinematour Forum   » Cinemas in the News   » Vancuver BC - Park & Capitol to close

   
Author Topic: Vancuver BC - Park & Capitol to close
Ron Keillor
Member

Posts: 125
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Registered: May 2003


 - posted March 10, 2005 10:58 AM      Profile for Ron Keillor   Email Ron Keillor         Edit/Delete Post 
from the Georgia Straight (straight.com)
quote:
Big firms drop old theatres
By charlie smith

Publish Date: 10-Mar-2005

The lights will soon go out at the Capitol 6 Theatres and at the historic Park Theatre. Nuria Bronfman, vice-president of corporate affairs for Famous Players, told the Georgia Straight that the upcoming shutdown of the Capitol 6 on Granville Mall will coincide with next month’s opening of the new Paramount Theatre complex at the corner of Burrard and Smithe streets.

“I’m not sure if it will close the same day or a couple of weeks later,” Bronfman said. “All our staff is moving over.”

Bronfman said that FP’s new Paramount Theatre will include nine screens and approximately 2,100 seats, whereas the Capitol 6 has 2,700 seats. Meanwhile, Atlantis Alliance spokesperson Jim Sherry confirmed in an e-mail to the Straight that his company will not renew its lease at the end of March at the Park Theatre at 3440 Cambie Street. The 75-year-old Park has a seating capacity of 534, making it one of the largest movie houses in Vancouver.

“As for the future of the theatre, you would be best served to speak with the manager or landlord who will advise you if a new tenant will be taking the space,” wrote Sherry, who is also president of Canadian theatrical distribution with Motion Picture Distribution LP.

Veteran Vancouver movie-house entrepreneur Leonard Schein, a former operator of the Park Theatre, told the Straight that he is in negotiations with Camy Properties to lease the site. Schein, former president and CEO of Alliance Atlantis Cinemas, said that if he strikes a deal he will show “art or specialty” films, just as he did while he was operating the theatre from 1990 to 2001. He described the building as a “wonderful neighbourhood theatre”.

Schein cited two major challenges: the cost of operating a single-screen theatre and the street disruption caused by the upcoming construction of a cut-and-cover Richmond/Airport/Vancouver Rapid Transit Pro?ject along Cambie Street. “So someone who would sign a five-year lease is somehow going to suffer through a year of getting very little business but still having all the costs for employees, the property tax, the rent, the Hydro, et cetera,” he said.

In 1990, Schein took over the theatre after Cineplex Odeon chose not to renew its lease. At various times, he has operated the Ridge, the Starlight, the Vancouver East, the Varsity, the Plaza, and the Fifth Avenue Cinemas. Alliance Atlantis bought his company in 1998, and he remained in management there until 2001.

Atlantis Alliance Cinemas, as the departing tenant, may remove its property from the Park Theatre. “It might be dark for several months if someone has to re-equip the whole theatre to reopen it,” Schein said.

Ken Charko, the independent operator of the Dunbar and Varsity theatres, told the Straight that he and Schein are the only two people in Vancouver who could successfully operate the Park Theatre as an independent movie house. Charko, second vice-president and director of the Motion Picture Theatre Association of BC, estimated that in a normal year the Park Theatre would attract more than 60,000 patrons. “The reason I’m holding off [negotiating] is strictly related to the RAV [line],” Charko said. “It would affect the business dramatically for eight months.”

Rand Chatterjee, spokesperson of the Do RAV Right Coalition, told the Straight that the Park Theatre serves as the “anchor” for retailers and restaurants in that section of Cambie Street. “It does bring a lot of foot traffic in,” Chatterjee said. “It’s quite visible.”

Chatterjee claimed that five other businesses on Cambie Street will not renew their leases because RAVCo approved cut-and-cover construction. RAVCo, a TransLink subsidiary, released a document mentioning there will be three-month periods of “no local access” followed by four to eight months of “limited local access” on Cambie Street south of 12th Avenue.

Alliance Atlantis Communications owns 51 percent of Motion Picture Distribution LP. The latter company owns 51 percent of Atlantis Alliance Cinemas. Famous Players owns 49 percent of Alliance Atlantis Cinemas, which also operates the Fifth Avenue theatre complex at 2110 Burrard.

Last October, New York–based media giant Viacom Inc. announced it wants to sell Famous Players, which has 84 theatres and 794 screens in Canada. Viacom, owner of the CBS and MTV networks, recently reported a stunning US$18-billion writedown on the value of its assets.



[ June 15, 2005, 08:09 PM: Message edited by: Adam Martin ]

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Dave Felthous
Member

Posts: 186
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted March 10, 2005 08:48 PM      Profile for Dave Felthous   Email Dave Felthous         Edit/Delete Post 
The Park MUST survive! I went there on my honeymoon in 1961. Great little theater. Beautiful rainbow lights on the curtain. We saw an amusing Brit comedy "Make Mine Mink" and joined in singing "God Save the Queen" at the end. Great way to start a marriage, which has lasted 44 years. I hope Mr. Charko and Mr. Schein can rescue it so we can visit the Park yet again.

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Ron Keillor
Member

Posts: 125
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Registered: May 2003


 - posted April 08, 2005 07:52 PM      Profile for Ron Keillor   Email Ron Keillor         Edit/Delete Post 
The theatre closed on the Easter weekend (March 27th) but is scheduled to re-open. Story from today's Georgia Straight

quote:
Park Theatre revived

By charlie smith

Publish Date: 7-Apr-2005

The former operator of the historic Park Theatre on Cambie Street has reached an agreement with the landlord for a second run. Businessman Leonard Schein told the Straight that he signed a deal with Camy Properties for a five-year lease, with an option to renew for another five years. Schein ran the Park Theatre from 1990 to 2001.

Alliance Atlantis Cinemas, which Schein previously headed, let its lease expire at the end of March. Schein said the single-screen Park Theatre will remain closed for approximately two months for extensive renovations, after which he will begin showing art films and Canadian features.

A new transit system is set to pass by the theatre. Original constructions was to be a tunnel, but recent plans indicate cut-and-cover to save costs. The area merchants, including Schein, are up in arms about the potential loss of business during the construction period.

[ June 15, 2005, 08:11 PM: Message edited by: Adam Martin ]

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Ron Keillor
Member

Posts: 125
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Registered: May 2003


 - posted April 28, 2005 10:15 AM      Profile for Ron Keillor   Email Ron Keillor         Edit/Delete Post 
The Capitol Vancouver closes tonight, Thursday April 28.

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Ron Keillor
Member

Posts: 125
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Registered: May 2003


 - posted May 16, 2005 12:01 PM      Profile for Ron Keillor   Email Ron Keillor         Edit/Delete Post 
The Park Theatre has not been lost and will re-open under management with strong local activity.

from press release:
quote:
Play it Again Sam (We Mean Leonard)!
The Park Theatre
Set to Re-open May 24 with Free Screenings of Casablanca

The Park Theatre on Cambie Street will re-open on May 24 with a number of films and events that focus on the community. To start the opening events on May 24 there will be two FREE screenings of the ever popular film Casablanca.

"The work on The Park has proceeded very quickly," said Leonard Schein, owner of Festival Cinemas. "The new love seat style seats are being installed and we have freshened up the lobby and public areas. We are pleased that we will be able to re-open so soon and have scheduled a number of events that say thank you to the community," Schein added.
The following outlines the films and events over the first week of re-opening:

MAY 24 Casablanca (free admission) 7:00 and 9:30

May 25 Invitational Premiere Screening of Ladies of Lavender 7:00

May 26 Benefit for Vancouver Folk Festival Society
The Vancouver Folk Music Festival will present "Standing in the Shadow of Motown" a tribute to the Funk Brothers. "Also on the bill is "Hardwood" the story of former Harlem Globetrotter Mel Davis, now a Vancouver resident and coach of young basketball players in the city. Mel Davis will appear in person to introduce the film.

May 27 – June 2 -Ladies of Lavender
Festival Cinemas owned by Leonard Schein, has a commitment to showing art, specialty, Canadian, and high quality films as it did in the past when it operated Fifth Avenue Cinemas, the Park Theatre, Varsity Theatre, Starlight Cinema, Ridge Theatre, and the Vancouver East Cinema.

New seats, screen, projection, sound, and concession equipment have been installed in The Park. Where the theatre used to have 640 seats, it will now have 504 (meaning more leg room, better sight lines) and all seats will be "love seats" (arm rest moves up so one can cuddle with partner/date).

There is Dolby Digital Sound, new speakers, screen and the interior is being freshened up with new flooring and lights. An outside 24 hour ATM will be available for ticket purchase.

History of The Park
The Park was built in 1940 and is a well recognized Cambie Street landmark. Much of the exterior will be preserved to reflect the historic nature of this popular theatre.



[ June 15, 2005, 08:12 PM: Message edited by: Adam Martin ]

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Ron Keillor
Member

Posts: 125
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Registered: May 2003


 - posted August 30, 2005 02:29 PM      Profile for Ron Keillor   Email Ron Keillor         Edit/Delete Post 
The Park Theatre has been closed since August 23rd due to smoke damage from a fire in a neighboring dry cleaners. It was hoped that the theatre would reopen last Friday, but damage is more extensive than first thought, and the building complex not up-to-date with the current fire code (no fire walls between establishments, etc. Re-opening is now hoped tor September 8th.
Sept. 6 update: re-opening pushed backto Sept. 16th.

[ September 06, 2005, 10:18 PM: Message edited by: Ron Keillor ]

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Matt Lutthans
Member

Posts: 51
From: Marysville, WA
Registered: Dec 2003


 - posted April 06, 2008 03:55 PM      Profile for Matt Lutthans   Email Matt Lutthans         Edit/Delete Post 
I saw Lawrence of Arabia at the Park in 70mm around 1989. This is certainly not a 70mm venue in the classic sense, but a very respectable neighborhood movie house, in the best sense. I hope it can survive.

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