A state-of-the-art, 10-screen movie complex has opened its doors to east-end moviegoers.
Following a trial run on Thursday, Dec. 17, the entertainment complex is ready to welcome the general public today.
The approximately 41,000-sq.-ft. facility is the only one in Ottawa to go fully digital in all of its auditoriums, said Dean Leland, Empire Theatre’s vice-president of studio and media relations. Instead of trucking in 35-millimetre reels of film, the theatre will instead use protected and coded hard drives, Mr. Leland explained.
What that means for film buffs is a pristine picture each time the movie plays, he indicated, adding film reels collect dust and hair each time they roll through a projector and degenerate over time.
Each of the auditoriums boasts stadium-style seating with wide, reclining, high-back chairs. The facility also includes an arcade, expanded refreshment offering, and rooms that cater to community groups, corporations or those wishing to host a celebration.
Located at 3725 Innes Rd., the new location is about a 10-minute drive from the Empire Theatres Orleans Town Centre location. The Centrum Boulevard theatre closed yesterday to make room for the expanded facility.
Mr. Leland said the lease on the Centrum facility was coming to an end and, since there was new room at that location to introduce state-of-the-art technology, the company decided not to renew the lease. Employees at the now-closed location were given an opportunity to transfer to the Innes Road facility, Mr. Leland said, noting about half chose to accept the offer.
This is the first large complex Empire Theatres has built in Ottawa. The company also owns the cinemas at the World Exchange Plaza and Rideau Centre.
Surrounded by a growing retail market, Mr. Leland indicated the Innes Road facility is nestled in a “wonderful retail corridor” that “spells success for move theatres.”
Empire Theatres Limited is a 100-per-cent-owned subsidiary of Empire Company Ltd. that owns and operates theatres across Canada with 379 screens, including on IMAX theatre in Halifax. With approximately 2,500 employees, Empire Theatre Ltd.’s corporate headquarters are located in Stellarton, N.S., with regional offices in Halifax, Toronto and Calgary.