By Mario Toneguzzi
The new five-screen theatre, in the southwest corner of the shopping centre in the space formerly occupied by Staples, will be outfitted in luxury recliner power seating in 25,000 square feet of space.
Darren Milne, Market Mall’s general manager, said the shopping centre’s customers are eager to have a theatre there.
“A few years ago, Cadillac Fairview sat down corporately with the property and the leasing team and we really talked about what does Market Mall look like in the future and who are the kinds of tenants that we need to bring to Market Mall and particularly the tenants that would not only increase our competitive advantage in the city but also be tenants that our shoppers want to have,” said Milne.
“Part of that first opportunity came to us when Target obviously went bankrupt and we were able to add Sporting Life and Zara and re-position HomeSense and with the re-positioning of HomeSense we were able to add Saks OFF 5TH next year. The one piece we knew we really wanted to add to Market Mall was a theatre. This deal has been in the works for probably 18 months.”
Milne said the theatre deal satisfies the need where the mall is bringing in another tenant that it knows shoppers want to have.
“But theatres also help drive evening traffic and when you drive evening traffic you also have a better opportunity to bring new restaurants to the site,” he said. “This is all part of a re-imagination that we started for Market Mall a few years ago and these deals have been coming to fruition for a little while.”
Bill Walker, CEO of Landmark Cinemas, said recliner seating, combined with complimentary reserved seating at Market Mall will provide “an unsurpassed movie-going experience while maintaining a value proposition that allows customers to enjoy the movies more often.”
“What’s interesting is the way we’ve scaled it for size acknowledging that there’s a different way to operate movie theatres that don’t need to all be large and maintaining a premium experience in a much smaller footprint than traditionally theatres were built in,” said Walker. “Because of the way we can program that theatre with digital projection and because we have the recliner seats that allow for higher occupancy rates, we’re able to build a different type of box."
“And so I think just as we sort of adapt to a changing marketplace you’re going to see more of that where operators in the movie theatre business are going to move to adopt their footprint to something smaller where they know they can operate more efficiently.”
Walker said every mall these days is keen on entertainment uses and uses that drive traffic in the evenings.
“Within the North American context, the movie theatre business is a mature business. We’re not growing in the days of building 24-screen theatres anymore,” he said. “We’re looking at pockets of population where there’s a good retail draw and we want to infill with entertainment use. Certainly at Landmark we’re keen to sort of adapt our footprint to suit the specific market conditions that we think are there.”
The Landmark Cinemas’ presence at Market Mall will feature:
619 Premium Powered Recliner seats;
All auditoriums will have Landmark's new Premium Powered Recliner seating in a full-stadium configuration. This new, motorized, fully reclining seat with extended footrest, will provide every guest with a significant increase in personal space and a relaxing, disruption-free movie-going experience;
All seating, at every performance, will be available on a complimentary reserved seating basis and tickets will be available in advance through Landmark's website, landmarkcinemas.com, or through ATOM Tickets, the first-of-its-kind cinema mobile ticketing and concession purchase platform and app that enables guests to skip lineups at the box office and concession;
Giant, wall-to-wall screens over 25 feet tall and the latest in digital projection and sound, and;
An expanded concession offering, including traditional cinema fare complemented by additional choices in hot foods.
CF Market Mall has become a hotbed of activity lately with many new developments in the popular shopping centre located in the northwest part of the city.
Zara opened its largest store in Calgary in 30,000 square feet of space and Sporting Life made its debut at the centre with a 40,000-square-foot store last Fall. Premium off-price retailer Saks OFF 5TH announced it will be opening a 30,000-square-foot store this Fall and Sport Chek's expansion of its 60,000-square-foot, two-storey flagship store is scheduled to open this Spring.
Landmark Cinemas Canada was acquired last December by Kinepolis Group NV, Belgium. Landmark is Canada's second largest motion picture, theatre exhibition company. From a single screen in 1965, today Landmark Cinemas has 43 cinemas and 302 screens throughout Western Canada, Ontario and the Yukon Territory.
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary has 37 years of experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, city and breaking news, and business. For 12 years as a business writer, his main beats were commercial and residential real estate, retail, small business and general economic news. He nows works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.