Cineplex Entertainment seeks city approval to expand Fifth Avenue Cinemas lobby

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      Vancouver's general manager of planning and development services, Brian Jackson, supports a theatre company's bid to add nearly 3,500 square feet to the lobby of the Fifth Avenue Cinemas.

      On Tuesday (July 8), Vancouver city council will hold a public hearing on the application by Formwerks Architectural on behalf of Cineplex Entertainment.

      Formwerks is seeking permission to increase the permitted floor-space ratio for theatre use from 0.66 to 1.00 at 2124-2130 Burrard Street and 1798 West 5th Avenue.

      In late May, Cineplex Entertainment president and CEO Ellis Jacob told the Georgia Straight in an interview that his company was considering upgrading the Fifth Avenue Cinemas.

      "I think we need to fix it up," Jacob said at the time. "I think it needs a little TLC."

      The four-storey mixed-use building at the corner of Burrard Street and West 5th Avenue was completed in 1996.

      Cineplex Entertainment hopes to expand the lobby to the northwest corner, which was formerly occupied by a retail store.

      If the application is approved, the primary theatre entrance would move to West 5th Avenue.

      If council gives the green light, the Fifth Avenue Cinemas' main entrance will move to West 5th Avenue.
      Charlie Smith

      In 2013, Toronto-based Cineplex Entertainment took over the Fifth Avenue Cinemas and the Park Theatre from a company headed by Vancouver entrepreneur Leonard Schein.

      "We put a movie, Grand Budapest, at the Park and it did extremely well, and moved it over to the Fifth Avenue and funnily enough, it did even as well there," Jacob said in May. "That community is really not looking for the Spidermans of the world. They're looking more for the specialty movies."

      According to a city staff report, there is no need for Cineplex Entertainment to play development cost levies because there is no additional floor area being added to the building.

      There's also no requirement for a community amenity contribution because $251,932 was already provided in 1995 when the property was rezoned for its existing use.


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      Alan Layton

      Jul 1, 2014 at 7:48pm

      "That community is really not looking for the Spidermans of the world. They're looking more for the specialty movies."

      Thankfully they did their homework.


      Jul 1, 2014 at 8:08pm

      You can be sure this expansion isn't for the comfort of movie goers to enjoy a larger space.
      It's to sell more stuff-maybe put a bar in?


      Jul 1, 2014 at 11:25pm

      So? If that's what they have planned (and why wouldn't they?) I don;t have a problem with it. If somebody wants to make a profit selling a product at a ridiculous price and people are willing to shell out, fine and dandy by me. Besides, perhaps the variety may be expanded. And possibly shorter lines resulting in less time in line, freeing up some space for those of us who aren't willing to sell off their first-born in order to be able to pay for a bag of popcorn and a pop but would just prefer to lounge comfortably.

      Ron Y

      Jul 3, 2014 at 9:07am

      I miss their pre-Cineplex snack bar. Now only the Rio has great popcorn.

      Although I like getting Scene points to watch art fare.