Cineplex Confirms 10-screen Multiplex at Lansdowne

The projected Lansdowne redevelopment
Citizens of Blah-ttawa no longer have to rely on suburbia for all their franchise film needs! CBC news reports that Cineplex has confirmed that it will bring a ten-screen multiplex to downtown Ottawa at Lansdowne Park. The ever-controversial Lansdowne redevelopment long had plans to include a movie theatre, but they were put in limbo when Empire Theatres exited the movie biz and left the developing site without an owner. The site was caught in the midst of a kerfuffle when the Empire’s other vacated location at the World Exchange was set to close despite the best efforts from new owner Landmark Cinemas. (The battle between cinema locations largely had to do with questions of exhibiting films in such close proximity.) The closure of the World Exchange at the question mark of the Lansdowne site left downtown Ottawa without a multiscreen theatre, although the city’s two single screen venues, The ByTowne and The Mayfair, kept films a flowin’ for cinephiles during the drought and will continue to do so since their focus on independent, international, and alternative cinema (plus lower admission fees for loyal members) allowed them to exist alongside departed multiscreen venues like WE and the defunct Rideau Centre theatre.

The new Cineplex site, however, will see a significant improvement over the crumbling World Exchange, as Cineplex plans to bring state of the art Ultra AVX to the downtown core. Three of Lansdowne’s ten screens will be VIP screens, which offers films at a premium cost (a VIP movie at the Varsityin Toronto runs at a whopping twenty bucks a ticket) and lets filmgoers enjoy service in an intimate and licensed screening room whose 19+ age limit eliminates the pesky nuisance of children. I’ve only done the VIP treatment once and don’t find it an experience significant enough to merit the extra cost (the rooms have much smaller screens), but I did enjoy the bougie novelty of splitting a bottle of wine at the movies at one in the afternoon.

How do you feel about these plans, local filmgoers?