The Cumberland Cinema is saved by Cineplex
The Cumberland Cinema has a friend in Cineplex. Yorkville's favourite art-house film destination has long been rumoured to be earmarked for new condos. The fact that its lease was up this March caused many a film industry insider in Toronto to fear that its demise was imminent. But thanks to the deep pockets of new owner Cineplex the theatre has renewed its lease. The show, as they say, will go on.
While I was unable to confirm the exact timing, it's believed that at some point last year Cineplex and Alliance struck a deal to transfer ownership of the Cumberland to Cineplex while still keeping the Alliance brand name intact. While both Cineplex and Alliance have declined to comment to blogTO on the deal sources tell me that the move likely was a strategic one to prevent Magic Lantern Cinemas (owners of Rainbow CInemas that took over the Carlton) from securing a beachhead in the area. Doing so would have possibly upped the competition between the cinema and the nearby Cineplex owned Varsity.
Movie goers have unlikely noticed much of a difference since the agreement was struck. As part of the deal the Alliance signage is going to stay but the Cineplex brand has already surfaced via promotional activities of Cineplex events as well as the appearance of some more mainstream programming like the Liam Neeson flick Unknown which is currently showing there. But if you go to the Cumberland and try to use or buy Cineplex gift cards you'll be out of luck.
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