Burnaby's Station Square Cinemas to close after Labour Day weekend
This long weekend is the last time audiences will have the chance to catch a flick at Famous Players Station Square Cinemas.
Cineplex, which has operated the theatre since it acquired Famous Players in 2005, announced that the Burnaby movie theatre, adjacent to Metrotown, will be closed for business as of Tuesday (September 4). The last films will screen on Monday.
On the line with the Georgia Straight, Cineplex vice-president Pat Marshall explained the reason for the closure.
"It's the end of the lease, and so it's not a theatre that we wanted to extend the lease on. It doesn't really reflect the quality of assets that we want in our theatre circuit any longer," she said, noting that it's an older slope-floored theatre. "So what happens in a lease situation is that at the end of the lease, we either decide that that location makes sense for us and we can either extend the lease, or we can close the theatre and turn it back to the landlord, or we can decide that we want to redevelop that site, and this was not one of those options for us."
She added that there won't be any job losses as the company has provided job opportunities for all 15 Station Square employees at other Cineplex locations.
The theatre, which opened in December 1988, had seven screening rooms, and often screened foreign-language films, including South Asian and Tagalog films, in addition to Hollywood fare.
As to whether neighbouring SilverCity Metropolis, also run by Cineplex, will incorporate some of that international programming, Marshall said it's possible.
"It will all depend on what our audiences want," she explained. "I think what people often don't think about is that it’s our guests that decide what product is on our screens and what stays in the theatres based on their demand on the ticket purchase side. People ask us why do you take off this film or that film, and the reality is it's because those are the films that are not selling tickets."
The Metro Vancouver movie exhibition scene has witnessed a series of changes over the last few years.
Cineplex closed Famous Players Richmond Centre 6 Cinemas on March 27, 2011, also due to a lease expiry.
The Hollywood Theatre, a repertory cinema, closed on May 29, 2011, after 75 years in operation.
However, Cineplex also purchased Cinemark Tinsletown at International Village on November 26, 2011.
Empire Oakridge Cinemas closed on January 2 of this year.
Cineplex also celebrated the official opening of its renovated SilverCity Coquitlam facilities on April 19. The company invested almost $3 million in upgrading the theatre to include upscale VIP Cinemas, a restaurant, and more.
On May 11, Calgary-based Landmark Cinemas opened a new 10-screen theatre at the Plaza in New Westminster.
Meanwhile, the Ridge Theatre, run by Festival Cinemas in the Arbutus neighbourhood, is facing imminent closure. Cressey Development purchased the strip mall that the Ridge is a part of and plans to demolish the complex to build condos.