Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Exhibitor Cineplex Considers Taking Its Food outside Movie Theatres

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Exhibitor Cineplex Considers Taking Its Food outside Movie Theatres

Article excerpt

Cineplex weighs more concession stands

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TORONTO - Cineplex is counting on Canadian moviegoers to indulge their appetite for concession snacks outside movie theatres.

Chief executive Ellis Jacobs said Tuesday that although it may take several years, the company wants to grow its gourmet popcorn stand business, Poptopia, and its burger and fries label, Outtakes, to other places people buy fast food.

"For us it's about taking those brands and continuing to develop them ... with the total intention of going beyond," he said Tuesday in an interview after the company issued its latest financial results.

"So five years from now, maybe, when you go to a food court, or go to a specific venue, you may see (them) as part of the offering that you have."

While Jacobs says the expansion plans aren't mapped out, it's "something of significant growth" for the company, which has been focused on becoming more than just your local multiplex.

Over the past few years, Cineplex (TSX:CGX), Canada's largest theatre chain, has bulked up its website to include a library of digital downloads and a storefront that sells DVDs and Blu-rays.

It also has a media division that sells advertising on its movie screens and recently acquired digital signage company EK3 Technologies, which supplies companies such as Tim Hortons (TSX:THI) and McDonald's and has a presence in the United States.

"We want to eventually be a company (that), when you think about movies, all you think is about Cineplex wherever you are," Jacobs said.

On Tuesday, the company reported its third-quarter financial results, which included a new attendance record at its theatres, even though the crowded summer movie season generated few massive Hollywood hits this year.

Industry observers have said movie distributors bogged down the summer season with too many giant films that cannibalized each other in a fight for screens. …

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