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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Large Format Forum   » Western Fair Closing Today

   
Author Topic: Western Fair Closing Today
Joseph L. Kleiman
Master Film Handler

Posts: 378
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: Apr 2005


 - posted 11-30-2005 10:58 AM      Profile for Joseph L. Kleiman   Email Joseph L. Kleiman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
For anyone up in Canada who wants one last visit, today is the final day of operation for the Western Fair IMAX in London, Ontario.

The 302 seat IMAX 2D theater opened July 1996 with a 52' x 72' screen. It will be missed by all in the LF community.

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Richard Hamilton
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1341
From: Evansville, Indiana
Registered: Jan 2000


 - posted 11-30-2005 01:07 PM      Profile for Richard Hamilton   Email Richard Hamilton   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Is it being shut down, or replaced with something else?

Rick

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Joseph L. Kleiman
Master Film Handler

Posts: 378
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: Apr 2005


 - posted 11-30-2005 01:08 PM      Profile for Joseph L. Kleiman   Email Joseph L. Kleiman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It's being shut down as a large format theater. They've been looking at the space for other uses, such as live theater.

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Joseph L. Kleiman
Master Film Handler

Posts: 378
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: Apr 2005


 - posted 12-01-2005 11:08 AM      Profile for Joseph L. Kleiman   Email Joseph L. Kleiman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Imax draws curtain for final time

Thu, December 1, 2005

By APRIL KEMICK, FREE PRESS REPORTER

The lights are out, the seats are empty and the curtain's closed for good.

After nine years of financial strife, the Western Fair Association's Imax theatre closed last night, disappointing dedicated movie-goers.

"I'm really sad to see it close because I love this theatre," said Londoner Sharon Link, who saw Imax's final two screenings with her husband last night.

"I think it's the best film format around -- the huge screen is amazing and you really feel like you're right in the movie," she said.

While Imax's massive, crystal-clear screen and short film selection were popular within certain circles and school groups, the move to close the $4-million theatre was a long time coming, said Hugh Mitchell, the fair association's chief operating officer.

The theatre was managed by Doug McGill.

"It's a very small segment of the population who have patronized it," Mitchell said. "We've only been averaging around 100,000 attendees per year and that just isn't enough."

Opened in 1996 amid controversy over the chosen location -- critics thought the theatre would have been better off downtown -- Imax was expected to draw up to 235,000 clients a year.

Only 97,000 moviegoers attended in the association's last fiscal year, which ended June 30.

Other Imax locations have faced the same struggles, Mitchell said.

"These are extraordinary films. We're disappointed the product didn't fare better."

The association is trying to find a tenant who can put the theatre's unique design to good use, he said.

"We've wrestled with this decision for a number of years," Mitchell said.

"Now is a good time to move on."

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