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Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Posh upgrade for second-run cinema

Cineplex spending $6.5 million on city multiplexes

Posted: 10/20/2011 1:00 AM | Comments: 0

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The second-run Cinema City facility on McGillivray Boulevard at Kenaston Avenue will undergo a $4.5-million renovation early next year that will transform it into a first-run multiplex by the summer of 2012.

The cinema will be called the Cineplex Odeon McGillivary & VIP Cinemas and will consist of eight traditional auditoriums and three VIP screening rooms, says Cineplex vice-president Pat Marshall.

The reno is part of an overall $6.5-million upgrade to Winnipeg Cineplex facilities that will also see:

  • 3,500 new seats being installed in all Polo Park cinemas by the end of this year. (All Polo Park cinemas have been upgraded to digital projection as of September.)
  • A new lobby, concession stand and an XSCAPE Entertainment Centre in St. Vital Cinemas replacing the existing arcade.
  • New exterior paint jobs at both Polo Park and St. Vital Silver City cinemas.

The most luxurious of all the upgrades is the addition of those VIP cinemas at the McGillivray location. Designated for patrons 18 and older, the cinemas feature all stadium seating with expanded leg room, high back leather seats and reserved seating.

"Our VIP Cinemas are a premium entertainment experience that currently is only available in three Ontario locations," Marshall said. "It's a more intimate viewing experience."

VIP cinemas feature a more upscale choice of food and beverages that may be delivered directly to your seat. VIP patrons may also use an exclusive VIP lounge separate from the facility's main lobby.

Marshall says prices for the Winnipeg VIP cinemas has not yet been set, but in Ontario, VIP patrons pay a $6 premium on top of the regular ticket prices. Marshall estimates each VIP cinema at the McGillivray location will seat approximately 120 people. She says the service is a big hit in Ontario.

"It's not unusual for our VIP theatres to sell out well in advance of the traditional auditoriums," she says.

The eight main cinemas will include larger screens, Dolby digital surround sound and all-digital projection systems utilizing Christie DLP Cinema projectors, two of which will be equipped with Real 3-D technology.

The box office and lobby also will be completely renovated. A new concession stand, Outtakes, will offer hot foods such as burgers, hot dogs and fries in addition to the traditional movie fare of popcorn and soft drinks. The facility will also include a TCBY frozen yogurt stand and a Pizza Pizza outlet.

In addition to the first-run movies, the cinema will also program special screenings such as The Met Opera Live, currently available only at the Silver City locations.

Marshall says there are no announcements forthcoming about the Cineplex facilities at Kildonan Place and Cinema City McPhillips.

randall.king@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 20, 2011 D1

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