Abbotsford's Towne Cinema will close after 40 years

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      It's been a while since we posted something about the closure of a movie theatre. Metro Vancouver went through a wave of closures over the past few years, including Burnaby's Dolphin Theatre in May 2014.

      But after 40 years, a movie theatre that was Abbotsford's first cinema is slated to fade to black permanently.

      Landmark Cinemas 9 Towne Centre in Abbotsford will close on February 7.

      Landmark Cinemas Canada executive chairman Brian McIntosh stated in a news release:  “We have put our very best efforts into operating our theatre in Abbotsford for many years now, however, due to the new movie market landscape that currently exists in Abbotsford, it is no longer a sustainable business option for our company.”

      Cineplex opened an 11-screen entertainment complex, featuring RealD 3D technology, three VIP cinemas and a licensed lounge, and an UltraAVX auditorium, at the High Street Shopping Centre in Abbotsford on October 11, 2013.  

      The theatre was opened by Don and Maxine Gibb with only two screens. The first film it screened was the 1974 Mel Brooks Western comedy Blazing Saddles.

      The theatre expanded to four screens in 1981, five in 1994, and eventually nine by 1996. The expansion helped to stave off competition from the Clearbrook Cineplex, which closed. But Cineplex bounced back by opening the aforementioned theatre complex which proved to be a fatal blow to Towne Cinema.