Scotiabank Theatre Ottawa and Winnipeg, formerly SilverCity

Scotiabank Theatre OttawaLast week, Cineplex announced that two former SilverCity locations will now become Scotiabank Theatres this summer.

These two iconic cities join eight others in featuring a Scotiabank Theatre. The press release merely promised a name change, with signage being added to Ottawa this month and Winnipeg later this summer. Being that Scotiabank Theatre is a premium brand compared to SilverCity, however, Dance Dance North predicts that these theatres will incorporate new features in the long term.

Possible additions not yet confirmed, but that would be a welcome change, include:

  • D-Box UltraAVX: D-Box and UltraAVX are available at all but a few locations: Atlantic locations lack UltraAVX, Edmonton and St. John’s lack D-Box and Montréal does not combine D-Box with UltraAVX. In sum, only half of current Scotiabank Theatre locations offer a combined D-Box UltraAVX experience. UltraAVX boasts a movie screen 1.32X larger than regular screens, Dolby Atmos or 7.1 surround sound and comfy reserved seating with optional 3D. D-Box adds motion seats that move with the movie.

    The two former SilverCity in Ottawa and Winnipeg already have a D-Box auditorium, so making room for UltraAVX would be the next step. Both locations already have a digital IMAX theatre, so having an UltraAVX would provide moviegoers with a large screen for movies sold out or not released in IMAX.

  • VIP Cinemas with a licensed lounge: Toronto offers a licensed lounge and Saskatoon adds three VIP Cinemas to the mix. Neither of the two former SilverCity in Ottawa and Winnipeg offer such options. Adding a licensed lounge would allow Cineplex to boost its premium offerings and would facilitate the future possibility of adding VIP Cinemas.
  • XScape arcade: Both locations in Alberta feature an expanded arcade offering with ticket-based games in addition to cherished classics like Dance Dance Revolution, Pac-Man, pinball and racers. The two former SilverCity in Ottawa and Winnipeg still use the older Cinescape branding and coins with, at least in Ottawa, an aging game selection. Having the Xscape card and introducing new games like DanceDanceRevolution A would be a much welcome change.

Originally posted on April 12, 2016: Scotiabank Theatre is the flagship brand for Cineplex, encompassing what it considers its best and most iconic theatres. For context, most of Cineplex’s 163 theatres fall under the Cineplex (90), Galaxy (30) and SilverCity (20 + 2 StarCité) brands. Another 13 cinemas fall under various niche brands. The remaining eight are Scotiabank Theatre locations with perks such as premium large format screens (IMAX, UltraAVX or both; Alberta locations each have two UltraAVX and one IMAX!), D-Box (excluding Edmonton and Atlantic locations), pizza, coffee and TimePlay. Each Scotiabank Theatre is unique to its province and located either in the province’s capital or most populous city, except for Alberta, where both the capital (Edmonton) and most populous city (Calgary) each have their own Scotiabank Theatre.

Cineplex wants to launch two new Scotiabank Theatres in 2016. Although the exact locations have yet to be announced, the chain confirmed that these will be two existing locations, not new ones. Where could these possibly be? The three provinces currently lacking such a location are Manitoba, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. I could imagine Alberta getting its SilverCity Polo Park theatre rebranded to Scotiabank Theatre, but I do not see why PEI or NB would get one, given the low population. Upon hearing Cineplex’s news, however, a thought came to my mind: could Ottawa be getting a Scotiabank Theatre?

It would make sense, with SilverCity Gloucester the most likely target for a makeover. It is a popular theatre located not far away from Blair station, the eastern terminus of the upcoming O-Train Confederation Line. It has an IMAX theatre with film and digital projection. It features various concessions like OutTakes, Pizza Pizza and expanded menus for Poptopia and Starbucks. However, the theatre still leaves much to be desired in several aspects. It has an aging mediocre Cinescape arcade with many broken games instead of the new Xscape brand. It lacks premium offerings such as a licensed lounge, UltraAVX and VIP Cinemas. Kids lament the lack of movies and games they can choose from, while adults cannot enjoy amenities such as a moderate glass of wine or in-seat fine food. A change could do some good.

Given that Cineplex is phasing out the SilverCity brand at many key locations, we can only hope that Ottawa would be the next city to feature this change. The company would be wise to treat this as more than just a rebranding or minor facelift, however, by going the extra mile to equip this location for the new millennium. The ample free space in the parking lot could be repurposed to expand the current building or even bring Cineplex’s valet parking for the first time in Ottawa. The northern side of the building could be reimagined to feature a VIP experience located after walking past one or two D-Box UltraAVX theatres. Finally, the poorly maintained arcade could use the help of on-site techs to be renovated with Xscape and its latest family-friendly offerings: virtual bowling, a laser maze (think Laser Frenzy at FunHaven) and a deluxe Pac-Man Battle Royale cabinet. Hmm… is this dream theatre missing anything? Oh, yes! How could we forget the latest dance game, DanceDanceRevolution A? It’d be the cherry on top of the sundae that could be Scotiabank Theatre Ottawa!