From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Registered: May 2003
posted February 15, 2013 02:04 PM
Two more of Vancouver's independently owned cinemas have been sold, as many of the city's cultural amenities close or are bought up by the big chains.
Cineplex Entertainment said Friday it will buy Fifth Avenue Cinemas and the Park Theatre from Vancouver-based Festival Cinemas.
Leonard Schein, president of Festival Cinemas, said he and partner Tom Lightburn have decided to retire from the film business after 35 years.
He signed the deal with the Cineplex Friday morning, and said he's sad to leave the business after so long but looking forward to doing something different with his life.
Festival Cinemas also operated the iconic Ridge Theatre in Kitsilano, which closed on Feb. 3 and will be demolished for condo development.
"We were really affected by the Ridge closure, it really took the heart out of the whole operation for us," he said.
"Tom and I are both 65 this year and we've been doing this for 35 years, so we figured it was time to retire."
Schein would not disclose how much the cinemas had been sold for, citing a confidentiality agreement.
He said customers shouldn't worry about the type of programming that Cineplex will bring or that the Fifth Avenue will stop showing indie films in favour of industry blockbusters.
"The Big Hollywood films will be shown at the Scotia Bank theatre and they'll keep these (cinemas) for showing more independent, artistic films."
Cineplex Entertainment said it expects the sale to completed by March 1 and will continue to operate the theatres as Fifth Avenue Cinemas and Park Cinema.
Part of the agreement, said Schein was that all 59 staff members at both cinemas will continue their employment with Cineplex.
The Toronto-based Cineplex operates 134 theatres in Canada.
Other smaller cinemas that have closed in recent years in Vancouver include Empire Theatres Granville 7, the Hollywood, the Oakridge and the Dunbar.
Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/independent+theatres+Vancouver+sold+Cineplex/7972199/story.html#ixzz2L0UqE4pu
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