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Sadly, according to its official Facebook page, University 4 officially closed today, even though the theater had been closed since Mid-March due to COVID-19.
It had a great run, though! Four different owners over its nearly 33 years of operation. In its heyday in the late 80s and 90s, this really was a great place to see a movie with two large sized theaters and two small ones with excellent projection and sound.
As a reminder, I shot an extensive gallery of photos of the entire complex a few years ago. Please take a look through as it really is one of my favourite cinemas. Even though it was tiny and tucked in the basement of a dead mall it still had a great charm to it. It will be missed!
Screen count is now at 22 screens as the #1-10 wing was partially renovated for a Cineplex VIP section in early 2020. Similar to Yonge-Dundas in downtown Toronto (which also had a VIP renovation), the latter screens were not renumbered so 6-7 no longer exist, 8-10 in the #1-10 wing are the same as before divided by a separate hallway and screens still overall count up to #24.
A screen was also converted to the 4DX format at this time as well.
Park & Tilford is now closed:
Added many photos from a 2016 visit during the last day of the Vancouver International Film Festival. All photos are somewhat low-res as they were taken with my THEN-new OnePlus 3 camera with an attached fish-eye lens.
Added a large amount of VERY old photos I took back in 2010 and 2011, the last two years of this complex in operation. Apologies for the low quality of the photos as they were all taken with a low-resolution pocket digital camera, but it’s better to have poor quality photos than none at all, I suppose!
Several photos added of the VERY small IMAX theater, Dolby Cinema #2 and auditoriums #4 and #8 during a visit in March, 2018.
UFAlien is on the money about the IMAX theater; not only is it a small screen but it looks really “tacked on” and cheaply constructed. I also didn’t find the image or sound to be that great either. Dolby #2 and auds #3-14 all have been renovated with the standard AMC red recliners, while IMAX still has its old seats. Several rows were also removed for sight-line issues.
This is one of my favourite venues to see a movie in Toronto, and I always visit the theater to see a movie around TIFF.
Some history: It opened as a dual auditorium in 1974 at the top floor of the Manulife Center with one large theater (formerly #2) with over 600 seats, and one smaller auditorium (about 300 seats). It was a big premiere venue for many titles for decades, including the first theater in Toronto to play STAR WARS on #2.
In 1998, Cineplex Odeon expanded the venue with six additional screens, and a year later added their first VIP cinemas in Canada. These are located to the left of the main lobby as you enter. Theaters #1-6 had what Cineplex called at the time “Sightline Seating” but is pretty standard stadium seating in the rear section of the theater like most theaters built in the era.
More renovations have happened here from the mid 2010s: All the original screens in the VIP auditoriums and in #1-7 masking and screens were removed for larger, floating screens were installed along with updated leather rocking seats. A few rows in theaters #1-6 are “Prime Seats” which are reservable wide leather seats and cost a few extra dollars over regular admission. While the seat count is moderate, all of the screens are of pretty large size in good sized rooms. A really great place for a big screen experience.
Because of this 1998 renovation, the original auds #1 and #2 became #7 and #8, and you can tell much of the original theater is still there which is a nice touch to the place. It’s great to see old and new in this location retaining its history. The seating for #8 is now at 465 from about 600 originally.
While the theater is of course fully accessible and getting into the original cinemas are a breeze, #7/8 are a touch more difficult. As the Varsity twin was not accessible when it opened in 1974, a special hallway was built in the 1998 renovation to the left of aud #7 entrance. Anyone needing to use a wheelchair or need a barrier free access would need would need to find a manager, open the accessible door and go all the way around the perimeter of the auditorium and enter through the exit doors at the front of either #7 or #8.
Seat Counts as of September, 2019 (provided by LCBO notices posted on all auditorium doors):
VIP: 30, 30, 30, 24
I have added many photos of my visits over the years onto this gallery! Again, it’s nice to see a theater with many decades of history nicely expanded and renovated over the years and will continue to remain open for quite some time.
Added several photos from two separate visits in 2018 and 2019. I was mighty impressed with this visit which was clean throughout, had great projection and sound on the movies I attended (save for the automated house lights BLASTING on at the end credits) and was nice and open. Great views of the street from the wide, expansive lobby area.
I only wish Cineplex would update the seating as it is still the original 1999 Famous Players seats which are showing a LOT of wear and tear but otherwise a very nice cinema.
First location in downtown Toronto to upgrade to all leather recliner seating.
Based on this photo this location only went as far as the circa-1985 Cineplex Odeon facelift as this design also existed in a similar form at the Oakridge 3 in Vancouver and Beverly Centre 13 in LA.
That’s because for the first few years of operation they were mostly second run for mainstream features and first run for foreign as both Famous Players and Canadian Odeon had monopoly booking power in the area, and as well this location was all 16mm so they had to also wait for some mainstream titles to have 16mm prints available.
Closing on April 2nd, 2019 as a newer Cineplex location is opening nearby at Park Royal Mall in West Vancouver.
Complete photo tour added from a November 2017 visit for a private screening. Although it doesn’t look like much in the lobby and exterior the theaters are STUNNING to be in.
Added a large amount of photos from a visit in August, 2016. All six screens covered including main Cinema #1 (still a terrific theater with excellent digital projection and outstanding sound quality out of a former THX certified house).
Entire complex to switch to leather reclining seating (with the reopening Capitol also opening Nov. 4th/2016 with new leather reserved seating) starting now and to be completed by the end of 2016.
UPDATE: Reopening November 4th, name to go back to Capitol 6, screen size has been made bigger on some screens, all leather-recliner seating (reserved) and Vancouver Island’s first Coke Freestyle machine at concession.
News link: http://www.timescolonist.com/business/victoria-s-renovated-capitol-6-reopens-nov-4-as-luxury-multiplex-1.2368448
Oh yes, this closed a few years ago.
Some of the seats from this location wound up in the Whistler Village 8 cinema after it shut down.
BREAKING NEWS! The Capitol 6 in Victoria is reopening in August!!!!
Full article: http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/new-generation-of-film-lovers-reviving-capitol-6-theatre-downtown-1.2273117
Added a few pictures from a trip I did last year in Seattle. Came here for a matinee of FADING GIGOLO.
This theater has clearly seen better days (or I suppose they haven’t, based on the previous comments I have read). Dirty throughout, the staff were rude to me on more than one occasion on my visit, and there were also several projection problems on my ONE visit here, leading me to believe no one has a clue how their projectors work. I did a quick peek on a few other screenings and two movies were being presented in the wrong format, and one was only projecting the color green on screen, also in the wrong format with open masking on all four sides of the screen.
Amazingly my presentation of FADING GIGOLO was pretty good and in the correct format. Which is more than I can say for the other movies I peeked in on.
I also agree with the sight-lines in this place. I had to move twice due to someone sitting even five rows ahead blocking my view. And I’m 6'2"! I can only imagine what this place is like on a busy night.
What a terrible theater. Regal would do well to shut this down and build a new location, either here or elsewhere downtown. This theater paled in comparison to the AMC Pacific Place which is a gorgeous cinema and very well run.
Added several photos, including shots of the exterior, box office as well as auditorium #8, the largest in the complex.
BIG UPDATE: Added nearly 100 photos of University 4 Cinemas including exterior, lobby and extensive shots of all four cinemas. A mixture of Canon 60D and cell phone pics, depending on the vantage point! Enjoy!
The VIP section is located on the second floor where Cinemas #16-21 used to be, although the whole area has been completely gutted and re-done. The entrance is located by where screens #15 and #22 are, with a slightly pushed out entrance (#15 and #22 are accessible on the sides via a small hall-way) leading into a main lobby with the lounge on the right hand side as you walk in.
VIP #1-3 are on the left hand side and #4 and #5 are ahead and in the back behind the bar. I also don’t recall this location having VIP bathrooms, either, but there are giant washrooms outside the theaters anyway.
In fact, on some of their digital displays the screens would read “#17”, “18” but my ticket (ALSO for CAPTIVE!) read “VIP #5”). But again, no screen #21 exists.
Also all five screens in this VIP section are floating 1.85 screens with no masking, so movies in scope play letterboxed on this screen.
Now down to 23 screens due to the VIP renovation. Screens #1-15, as before, then VIP #1-5, then #22-24. No screen #21 exists. Oddly enough the cinema numbers haven’t changed so screens #22-24 still exist as before.
“With Toronto’s Cineplex Cinemas Yonge – Dundas only one behind at 24.”
Which is now down to 23 due to the VIP renovation. Oddly enough the theaters are not re-numbered so it still goes up to 24!
The closing of the Capitol has still left a big hole in my heart, and it saddens me every time I walk by it. Ever since it closed it has been really tough to get particular movies to show here now, and many smaller releases now bypass our city because of it.
As for West Van area, they could do with a 10-12 screen Cineplex right in the mall with a few VIP theaters no problem. Easy to get to by transit as well. That would likely close both North Van locations, however.
It’s also really interesting to think that the two locations in North Vancouver are both total 80’s design cinemas (a Drabinsky era Cineplex Odeon AND a late 80’s Famous Players “Bijou”, “Rialto”, “Avalon”), largely unchanged since they opened. Very few of either type of cinema even exist anymore.