Cineplex Odeon Varsity Cinema is on the second floor of the Manulife Centre, at the busy intersection of Bloor and Bay Streets. The theatre in the fifty-one-storey building was renovated in 1998 to become the Cineplex Odeon Varsity Cinemas, with eight auditoriums and four VIP theatres. It was the first theatre in the city to offer small auditoriums, licensed for alcoholic drinks, with VIP service that delivered food and beverages from the snack bar directly to the patrons’ seats. I saw the James Bond film “Quantum of Solace” in one of the VIP theatres in 2008 and was impressed, especially with the luxuriously comfortable seats. Cineplex Entertainment company now has VIP theatres in their Queensway complex and several more are under construction in their other theatres (as of 2014). The Cineplex Odeon Varsity Cinema presently has twelve screens as well as 3-D projectors.
The hallways and lobby of the Cineplex Odeon Varsity Cinemas are not as elaborate as some of the other Cineplex Cinemas. The lobby and hallways contains little art work other than numerous movie posters and a large aquarium. However, it is a comfortable and well-located venue that is likely to remain popular. It screens the latest movies and continually draws crowds to its auditoriums, especially on weekends.
An article written by Adam Meyes on June 10, 2013 in the Business Section of the Toronto Star, provided information about Cineplex Entertainment. He wrote that the company presently controls seventy percent of the movie screens in Canada, even though it does not operate east of Quebec.
Cineplex absorbed the Famous Players chain and also purchased four complexes owned by AMC Corporation. One of these was the AMC Theatre at Yonge and Dundas. In November 2013, the company finally extended east of Quebec by acquiring twenty-four Empire Theatres in Atlantic Canada.
The spacious entrance to the Cineplex Odeon Varsity on the second floor of the Manulife Centre.
Hallway leading to the various auditoriums.
Hallway that displays a large aquarium.
The auditoriums have its stadium-style seating.
The open space in the Manulife Centre on the second floor, at the top of the escalator that ascends from the first floor level. In the photo, the entrance to the theatre is on the far side.
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To view previous blogs about other movie houses of Toronto—old and new
The Fox Theatre on Queen Street East which has shown films since 1913.
The “Bloor Hot Docs Cinema” on Bloor Street West
The Vaughan Theatre on St. Clair Avenue
Toronto’s first movie screening and its first movie theatre
The ultra-modern Scotiabank Theatre at Richmond and John Streets
Cineplex Theatre at Yonge and Dundas Streets
The Ed Mirvish Theatre (the Pantages, Imperial and Cannon)
The Downtown Theatre (now demolished) at Yonge and Dundas
The Orpheum Theatre on Queen St., west of Bathurst
The Bellevue Theatre on College Street that became the Lux Burlesque Theatre
Old movie houses of Toronto
The Odeon Carlton theatre on Carlton St., east of Yonge St.
The Victory burlesque and movie theatre on Spadina at Dundas:
The Shea’s Hippodrome Theatre on Bay St. near Queen
Attending a matinee in the old movie houses of Toronto during the “golden age of cinema”
The University Theatre on Bloor St., west of Bay Street.
Archival photos of the Imperial and Downtown Theatres on Yonge Street
The Elgin/Winter/Garden Theatres on Yonge Street
The now vanished Avon Theatre at 1092 Queen Street West