Cine­plex eyes smaller mar­kets for Rec Room cen­tres

The Hamilton Spectator - - BUSINESS - ALEKSANDRA SAGAN

Cine­plex is plan­ning to ex­pand its Rec Room com­plexes that in­clude eater­ies, live en­ter­tain­ment and games, across Canada, in­clud­ing in smaller cities, as it con­tin­ues to di­ver­sify its busi­ness.

“We’ve gone from a movie com­pany to an en­ter­tain­ment com­pany,” chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer El­lis Ja­cob said in an in­ter­view af­ter the com­pany’s an­nual meet­ing in Toronto on Wed­nes­day.

The movie the­atre com­pany an­nounced this week it plans to open two more lo­ca­tions of its Rec Room en­ter­tain­ment com­plexes, which in­clude a restau­rant, games, vir­tual re­al­ity and other at­trac­tions. The Rec Rooms will open in Mis­sis­sauga, and Burn­aby, B.C.

Cine­plex plans to open 10 to 15 Rec Rooms over the next sev­eral years in ma­jor cities.

The com­pany opened its first Rec Room in Ed­mon­ton last Septem­ber and has an­nounced plans for an­other one in the city, as well as a Cal­gary lo­ca­tion. Ja­cob said it’s likely eight to 10 lo­ca­tions will be open in the next three years.

The com­pany is also look­ing at cre­at­ing a model for a sim­i­lar space in mid-size and small mar­kets, like Kingston, Ont., that will have the same ameni­ties, but less square footage. The Rec Rooms in larger cities range from 40,000 to 60,000 square feet.

In ad­di­tion to grow­ing its Rec Room pres­ence, Cine­plex is look­ing at ex­pand­ing its 4DX ex­pe­ri­ence, cur­rently only avail­able at one down­town Toronto the­atre.

The tech­nol­ogy adds mo­tion, like seat tick­lers, and en­vi­ron­men­tal ef­fects, like snow or light­ning, to the movie view­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

Cine­plex hasn’t pin­pointed any lo­ca­tions for this ex­pan­sion yet, but Ja­cob said it’ll look at ar­eas with large pop­u­la­tions, like Mon­treal, Van­cou­ver and Ed­mon­ton.

NATHAN DENETTE, THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Peo­ple use an es­ca­la­tor to at­tend Cine­plex En­ter­tain­ment’s an­nual meet­ing in Toronto on Wed­nes­day.

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