Empire Oakridge Cinemas joins list of Metro Vancouver movie theatre, DVD rental closures

The screens at Empire Oakridge Cinemas have gone dark.

The Oakridge theatre, owned by the Nova Scotia–based Empire chain since 2005, closed on Monday (January 2). The closure will affect about 25 employees.

Three Empire locations remain in Metro Vancouver: Empire Studio 12 Guildford (Surrey), Granville 7 Cinemas (in downtown Vancouver), and Esplanade 6 (in North Vancouver). The only other British Columbia locations are two theatres in Victoria.

This latest closure follows the shuttering of several local independent DVD rental stores (including Videomatica, Independent Flixx, Happy Bats) and chains (Blockbuster, some Rogers Video locations), and two movie theatres.

Famous Players Richmond Centre 6 Cinemas closed on March 27. The Hollywood Theatre (at 3123 West Broadway) shut down on May 29 after 75 years in operation.

In other local movie theatre news over the past year, the Rio Theatre was sold to Festival Cinemas (which runs the Park, the Ridge, and Fifth Avenue Cinemas) in May. Rio Theatre manager Corinne Lea had been attempting to convert the theatre into a multimedia concert venue but provincial liquor laws prevent venues that show feature films from obtaining a liquor license.

Meanwhile, other theatres are attempting to attract moviegoers by offering more sophisticated, upscale theatres. Cineplex Entertainment invested $2.1 million in outfitting SilverCity Coquitlam with five VIP Cinemas, which opened in December. These special theatres are restricted to moviegoers 19 years and older; feature larger seats, front-row reclining seats, and online seat reservations; and allow attendees to order food into the theatre.

You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at twitter.com/cinecraig.




Jan 7, 2012 at 10:23pm

Oakridge Theater was open since 1985, not since 2005!
That Theater was around for over 26 years.
Why did they close it??
Oakridge will be missed.
It was my favourite Theater. :(

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Jason Whyte

Jan 9, 2012 at 4:50pm

The article said the Oakridge was owned by Empire "since" 2005, not that it opened that year. Cineplex Odeon opened the cinema in 1985, and Empire ran it since 2005.

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Apr 1, 2012 at 10:12pm

What really happened is about the last movie they were showing, Sandler in Jack and Jill was so bad that they had to close the cinema and tear the theatre down.

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